The government does not support changing the £5,000 registration threshold for charities, but does support voluntary registration for charities below that threshold, says its response to two reports on charity regulation.
The response, published today, also says the government does not support charging charities for registration or filing annual returns.
But it backs Hodgson’s recommendation to raise the audit threshold for charities to £1m a year and says it will look at changes to the audit threshold for charities that have a high value of assets – it is currently £3.26m.
Lord Hodgson’s statutory review of the Charities Act 2006, Trusted and Independent, Giving Charity Back to Charities, was published last year. The Cabinet Office response also concerns The Role of the Charity Commission and "Public Benefit": Post-legislative Scrutiny of the Charities Act 2006, published earlier this year by the Public Administration Select Committee.
"The threshold for compulsory charity registration should not be raised to £25,000," the response says. "The clear message from the charity sector is that registration should be required of small charities."
It says that before it permits voluntary registration for charities that are not required to be registered, including excepted charities such as some religious institutions and those with incomes under £5,000, the government will "work with the Charity Commission to undertake a feasibility study and consider the costs and benefits of such a change and the impact on Charity Commission resources".
The response says the government will also consult on increasing the income threshold for a full audit to £1m.
"Our preference would be to retain but increase the assets threshold, as we continue to believe that charities that have significant assets should be subject to a full audit even where their income is low," the response says.
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