January 3, 2018
In September 2017, the Charity Commission announced a consultation on the content of the charity Annual Return for 2018. The Commission has now published the results of that consultation in the form of the Charities (Annual Return) Regulations 2017: the questions to be answered are listed in a Schedule to the Regulations.
AR18 applies to charities with financial years ending from 1 January 2018 and must be completed by all charities with annual incomes of £10,000 or more unless they belong to one of the excepted denominations and have an annual income below £100,000. Charities have ten months from the end of their financial year to complete the return.
The Commission has amended its proposed new question on income received from overseas. Only information about income from overseas governments or quasi-governmental bodies, charities and NGOs will be mandatory for the first year. Providing information about income from other overseas institutions and donors will be voluntary for the AR18 and then mandatory in following years. The Commission will also introduce a financial threshold for that information. The changes from the Commission’s original proposal are intended to ensure that charities will be able to update their records and systems before the question areas become compulsory.
The Commission has decided not to ask charities:
- whether they are claiming rate relief for the premises they use; and
- the amount of Gift Aid they have claimed.
AR18 will require charities to provide information about the total remuneration received by their staff members, including salary, bonuses, pension contributions, private health care and other benefits in kind. The Commission will make public how many individuals receive total packages worth upwards of £60,000 in bands (in bands of £10,000 up to £150,000, then in bands of £50,000). The Commission will also require charities to provide information about their highest-paid employee, but that information will be held for regulatory purposes rather than being made public.