Charity Commission to review annual return

The Charity Commission has launched a consultation as part of its two-year project to change and review what information is collected from charities as part of the annual return, so that only information required for regulatory purposes is gathered

The Commission’s two year project will assess how information is collected for the annual return and whether the right information is collected for regulatory purposes.

The consultation on structural changes marks the first stage of the project and is consulting on whether:

  • charities should keep the fundamental information up to date more regularly that annually
  • questions should be focussed to match the Commission’s strategic priorities and targeted at the relevant charities
  • the regulatory burden can be lifted by making sure the annual return is more targeted and proportionate

Currently, the annual report is used to help the Commission understand the sector  and to have a better knowledge of individual charities to ensure that charities are operating within charity law and to identify whether they are in difficulty or under poor administration.  

Jane Adderley, head of first contact, at the Charity Commission said: ‘The annual return is a vital tool that allows us to regulate effectively. Making sure that we collect the right information, in the right way is a key part of this. Over the next two years, we hope the annual return will change and improve significantly and this is the first step.

‘Making sure that these changes are made in the right way for charities, as well as the Commission, is important and so we would encourage registered charities to respond.’

The consultation closes on 9 March 2017. 

Annual return for 2017 - information collected from charities is here. 

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