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The Charity Commission has now released its updated annual return, which includes new questions regarding the level of income charities receive from government (central of local) grants and contracts, the charity’s staff pay policies and details on the charity’s financial controls.

The online form, which must be completed by all registered charities with an annual income of more than £10,000 and all Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) who are reporting on their financial years ending in 2015, has been expanded to improve transparency and promote good governance within the charity. The new format form should strengthen the regulators overall ability to identify risk.

Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy and Communications at the Charity Commission said:

“Charities will recognise that the public’s appetite for information about where their money comes from, and how they use it, is growing. It is therefore vital for charities to provide the regulator with up to date information. Completing the annual return is about meeting both your legal responsibilities and the expectations of the public – there’s no excuse. As well as improving transparency, I hope the new questions will also promote good governance by prompting trustees to consider carefully their charity’s financial controls and the basis for setting staff pay.”

Charities have 10 months from their financial year-end to complete the annual return.

More from our charity experts

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Simon Bladen is the partner responsible for looking after the firm’s legal clients and has worked at Hawsons throughout his career. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Simon on [email protected] or 0114 226 7141.

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