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.

When To Claim Gift Aid

Crowdfunding for charities: Gift AidWhen you must claim

Your deadline to claim Gift Aid depends on how your charity is set up.

You need to claim for a donation within 4 years of the end of the financial period you received it in. This is:

  • the tax year (6 April to 5 April) if you’re a trust
  • your accounting period if your charity is a community amateur sports club (CASC), a Charity Incorporated Organisation (CIO) or a limited company

You must claim on cash donations under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme within 2 years of the end of the tax year that the donations were collected in.

Keeping records

You need to keep records of these donations for a further two years

How to claim

You can claim Gift Aid using Charities Online with:

For claims of over 1,000 donations you must use software.

To apply by post use form ChR1, which you can get from the charities helpline.

When you’ll get paid

You’ll get a Gift Aid payment by BACS within:

  • 4 weeks if you claimed online
  • 5 weeks if you claimed by post using form ChR1