Charity Commission seeks more information in 2014 annual return

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Charities will have to provide more information about their activities in their annual return, including information about fundraising, payment to trustees, trading and grantmaking, the Charity Commission has said.

The Commission has published new guidance on the annual return form for 2014, which must be completed by all registered charities with an income over £10,000.

A charity completing the form must provide information in seven new areas, including whether a charity:

• Raises funds from the public
• Has a trading subsidiary
• Pays trustees
• Makes grants
• Is regulated by or registered with other regulatory bodies
• Has policies in several areas including risk management, complaints, and vulnerable beneficiaries

The seventh question allows a charity to give more information about its achievements.

The Commission will also be publishing new information already held about charities including whether the charity is insolvent, in administration, or subject to enforcement action for non-submission of accounts.

It will also say for the first time whether a charity is registered with the Fundraising Standards Board, but will collect this information from the FRSB rather than the charities themselves.

The Commission has also scrapped the Summary Information Return, previously compulsory for charities with an income over £1m.

“The carefully considered changes mean that the extra information collected and displayed will be valuable in both promoting the compliance of the sector and in helping the public to make informed decisions about charities,” said Sam Younger, chief executive of the Commission.

“The information that charities submit in their annual return helps to support the public trust and confidence in charities, both through increased transparency and by enabling the Commission to better regulate the charity sector.”