No dodging accounts for small charities under OSCR proposals

All English and Welsh charities that operate in Scotland will have to submit annual accounts to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator even if they are not required to file them with the Charity Commission under new cross-border regulation proposals.

Charities with annual incomes of less than £25,000 do not have to submit accounts to the Charity Commission, but the threshold will not apply in Scotland under proposals that have been put out for consultation by OSCR.

The regulations, drawn up by a reference group that included members of the Charity Commission, the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland and four cross-border charities, limit the amount of duplication in the different regulators' reporting requirements.

But the consultation document talks of a "regulatory gap" regarding small charities. It says: "OSCR intends to subject the accounts of these charities to the same review as Scottish charities of similar size."

All charities will have to submit their documents to OSCR within nine months of their financial year-end, instead of 10 in England and Wales. The impact of the proposals will be assessed in a pilot study. The consultation runs until 23 December.

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