The new annual return for charities

Following a consultation last year, the Charity Commission has confirmed the questions that will feature as part of the new tailored annual return due to be released by the end of this month (August) for 2018 reporting. The new questions focus on three main areas:

1. Income generated from outside the UK.
2. Expenditure incurred on overseas activities.
3. Staff benefits and salaries. 

The Commission recognises that some of the questions may create additional work and require charities to modify their systems to capture the information, so have proposed a phased approach.
 

What’s required in the 2018 annual return

Salaries and benefits

A breakdown of salaries across income bands and the total amount of employee benefits for the highest paid member of staff. In response to concerns highlighted during the consultation, the Commission won’t be publishing information regarding the highest paid member of staff on the public register. 

Income from outside the UK

• Whether your charity received income from outside the UK during the financial period for this annual return, including listing each country from whom money was received.
• What is the value of income by country? For each country, you must specify the source and amount of income from the options:
 
(a) Overseas governments or quasi-government bodies;
(b) Overseas charities, NGO or NPOs;
(c) Other overseas donors (e.g. private company donations);
(d) Individual donors resident overseas;
(e) Unknown/don’t’ know.

Questions (c) and (d) above will be optional for the 2018 annual return.

Some further questions on overseas expenditure are optional for inclusion in the 2018 annual return, but will be mandatory in the 2019 return onwards, including:

• When spending money outside England and Wales, did your charity transfer money outside of the regulated banking system?
• What methods to transfer money did your charity use and what was the value?
• Does your charity have controls in place to monitor overseas expenditure?
• Are your charity’s trustees satisfied that the risk management policy and procedures adequately address the risks to your charity arising from its activities and/or where it operates?

Though not all questions are mandatory until the 2019 return, we recommend consideration of your current accounting records to ensure they capture the information required in time for reporting. If you would like help in reviewing your current accounting systems and processes, please contact your usual Moore Stephens adviser or Tracey Moore of the Not-For-Profit team.
 

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