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.

Converting A Charitable Company To A Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

We're now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) - Raising Futures  KenyaThe main advantage of CIOs over charitable companies is that CIOs don’t have to register with and send accounts to Companies House as well as the Charity Commission.

Changing to a different charitable structure usually involves setting up a new charity, transferring your original charity’s assets and liabilities to it then closing your original charity.

The conversion process should be simple and straightforward in most cases. As part of this process, the new CIO Constitution and Special Resolution will need to be included before submission to the Commission.

Using this process means that the charity continues to exist but in a different form. This means you’ll be able to keep the charity’s existing name and charity number.

You should also be able to keep the charity’s existing bank accounts and in most cases the new CIO should receive any legacies left to the original charitable company.

To change a company into a CIO you need to apply to the Charity Commission here.

The Commission will liaise with Companies House to ensure that necessary records are updated correctly. This will mean that the date of conversion of the charitable company to a CIO – as shown on the public register of charities – will match the date of removal of the charitable company at Companies House.

Please note that due to limited resources, your application may be rejected if:

  • complete documentation is not sent or received
  • your charity is not in compliance with its reporting requirements to the Charity Commission and Companies House
  • your charity has made any changes to the new CIO governing document that would require the Charity Commission’s approval including:
    • name change, except a minor change such as removing limited or company and replacing it with CIO and also if the name is not one that is regulated on the business register and no approval has been submitted with the application
    • any additional trustee benefits especially if there is an express prohibition in the company’s governing document
    • amendments to the dissolution clause that will change the spirit of the intention of who receives the funds on dissolution

More information about changing your charity’s structure can be found here

Deadlines For Filing Charitable Company Accounts

A Reminder from Companies House

If your charity is registered as a company with Companies House, and your year end is 31st March, your MUST file your company accounts with Companies House by 31st December

For other year end dates, the deadline is:

  • 9 months from the accounting reference date for a private company
  • 6 months from the accounting reference date for a public company

Please be aware of the definition of a period of months in connection with filing accounts. A period of months after a given date ends on the corresponding date in the appropriate month. For example a private company with an accounting reference date of 4 April has until midnight on 4 January of the following year to deliver its accounts, not 31 January. This does not apply if your accounting reference date is the last day of the month. In this case the period allowed for filing accounts would end with the last day of the appropriate month. For example a private company with an accounting reference date of 30 April has until midnight on 31 January of the following year to deliver its accounts, not 30 January.

If a filing deadline falls on a Sunday or Bank Holiday, the law still requires you to file the accounts by that date. To avoid a penalty, please ensure that you send acceptable accounts in time to arrive before the deadline.

It’s the date that you deliver acceptable accounts which meet the relevant legal requirements to Companies House that is important, not the date that you sent the accounts.