Changing Your Charity’s Financial Year

You cannot change your charity’s financial year or period if your latest annual return and accounts (if required) are overdue.

charity collecting tinRules for charities that are not companies

If your charity is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) or unincorporated (not a company) you can change the financial year or period to run for more or less than 12 months.

It needs to be a minimum of 6 months, and no longer than 18 months.

You can only:

  • change the dates for your current financial year
  • make a change once every 3 years

Changing your financial year or period will also change your deadline for filing the annual return and accounts.

Rules for charities that are companies

If your charity is incorporated (a company) you can shorten your financial year or period as often as you’d like.

The minimum period you can shorten it to is 1 day.

You can lengthen your company’s financial year to a maximum of 18 months, but this can only be done once every 5 financial periods.

Rules for newly registered charities

If your charity is newly registered, and you have not submitted an annual return you will need to request permission to change your financial year.

To sign in and change your financial year you will need your:

This password gives people in your charity access to detailed information about your charity and individuals connected with it.

When giving access to this password you need to have measures in place to make sure the system is only used for proper purposes, and that the information accessed through the Commission’s services will be treated carefully and sensitively and in accordance with legal requirements including the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Read the privacy notice before you use the service.

Companies House Stops Postal Reminders for Annual Returns

The confirmation statement explainedCompanies House will no longer send out postal reminders for filing your Annual Return, now known as the Confirmation Statement, as part of their aim to become a fully-digital organisation and all companies should now register for the email reminder service

They say that Companies who have already switched to email reminders from paper are more likely to file their accounts and confirmation statement (annual return) on time, and are less likely to get a penalty for filing their accounts late.

Their email reminder service is free and has many advantages over the paper system. You can:

  • choose up to 4 people to receive a reminder (including an agent)
  • file your document immediately from a link within the reminder
  • receive reminders more conveniently
  • use less paper, contributing to saving the environment

How to register

  1. sign in to the Companies House online filing service
  2. select ‘Get email reminders’ from your company overview screen
  3. click ‘Add an email address’
  4. enter your email address (a maximum of 4 per company)
  5. click the link in the email Companies House sends you to validate your email address
  6. agree to the terms of operation

They will send you an email when you have successfully joined the reminder service.

New users will need to register to use the Companies House online filing service.

You can file your Confirmation Statement here

Annual Return Deadline Coming Up!

cartoon-alarm-clock-ringingWhen to submit your annual return

You must submit your annual return within 10 months of the end of your financial year

For example, if your financial year end was 31 March 2019, your deadline is 31 January 2020

INcome under £10,000

You only need to report your income and spending

Income between £10,000 and £25,000

You must answer questions about your charity in an annual return.

You do not need to include any other documents

Income over £25,000

You must answer questions about your charity in an annual return.

You will need to get your accounts checked and provide PDF copies of your:

  • trustee annual report
  • accounts
  • independent examiner’s report

You also need a full audit if you have:

  • income over £1 million
  • gross assets over £3.26 million and income over £250,000

Prepare your annual report and accounts first. You can then upload them when you complete your annual return.

Charity Annual Return – New Questions

Information board stating "Annual return 2018 and 2019. Salaries + benefits = transparency and public trust".From the Charity Commission

all 2018 and 2019 annual return questions

Why we are asking about salaries and benefits in charities

Our research into public trust and confidence in charities shows that the public is concerned about high levels of pay in charities.

Because of this we will be asking charities to provide more information about salaries to increase accountability.

We will ask for a breakdown of salaries across income bands, and the amount of total employee benefits for the highest paid member of staff.

But, in response to concerns raised during our public consultation, we will not publish details of benefits given to the paid member of staff on the charity register.

Charity Annual Return

If your registered charity’s financial year ended on 31 March 2018, then the deadline for submitting the charity’s accounts/ annual return to the Charity Commissionis 31 January 2019.

The Charity Commission has produced guidance on how to prepare an annual return. You can find that here

New questions in the 2018 annual returnFor the annual return 2018/2019, you need to be aware that there will be new questions to answer.  You can find more information about that here

If you need any further advice, then you can contact our office  here

Annual Returns for the Charity Commission

Well, your final accounts have been successfully examined, now you need to send your Annual Return to the Charity Commission.  You are required by law to submit these within 10 months of the end of your Financial Year.

It is very easy to complete.  You will need the:

Total Income and Expenditure for the Year

Names of your Trustees

If you need any help, give Derby CAS a call on 01332364784, or you can go to the Government Website for guidance