Too many cross-border charities do not meet Scottish obligations on filing accounts, report finds

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator says charities are still unclear about how to complete their returns, despite receiving advisory letters


Too many cross-border charities remain unclear about their filing obligations under Scottish law, a new report from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator concludes.

Monitoring of Cross-border Charities, published this week, says that a significant number of charities operating in both England and Scotland are failing to meet their statutory obligations for filing accounts.

The report, the second since 2010 to look at cross-border charities, concludes that information returns are being completed with "varying degrees of care and accuracy".

"The previous evaluation showed that a significant number of cross-border charities appeared to be unclear about, or unwilling to fulfil, their statutory obligations in respect of Scottish charity law," it says. "Unfortunately, this continues to be the case.

"A significant proportion of accounts submitted did not include appropriate reference to Scottish charity legislation in the external scrutiny report. This was despite advisory letters being issued to many of these charities in the previous year."

The report says the regulator will revise the format of its return to improve clarity. But it also says that there has been a reduction in the number of overdue annual returns from cross-border charities.

Almost 800 of the 23,500 charities registered with the OSCR are listed as cross-border charities. All charities that operate in Scotland are required by the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 to register with the OSCR, even if they are based outside the country.

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