More than 6,000 charities miss reporting deadline, figures reveal

Approximately 6,000 charities missed the 31 January deadline to file their annual accounts or returns, a new report has revealed.

The figures, obtained by industry publication Civil Society using the Charity Commission’s online search register, show that 22,160 charities have “out-of-date” documents, up from 16,225 prior to the deadline – an increase of around 6,000.

The annual study suggests a decline in the number of non-compliant charities, with non-filers falling from 6,700 in 2019, 7,500 in 2018, and 10,000 in 2017.

However, Civil Society estimates that the total number of charities that have failed to file in successive years is increasing, with around 6,000 more charities marked as having not filed their annual returns or accounts in two or more years compared to the previous year.

Around 238 charities with incomes over £1 million, meanwhile, have overdue documents, compared to 250 last year, while the number of charities with incomes between £100,000 and £1 million who have overdue documents decreased from 1,544 to 1,177.

Commenting on the charity deadline, a Commission spokesperson said: “We’re pleased to see that the overall number of charities filing on time, and therefore meeting their legal obligations as trustees, is increasing. The Commission has supported this figure through measures including the increase in our contact centre hours, allowing us to provide more support and guidance to charities when they need it.

“But we know there is still work to do to support the charities who missed the deadline. In particular, the number of smaller charities missing deadlines and not updating the Commission on their income has increased, so over the next few months we’re planning to develop how we communicate with smaller charities to better support their filing.”

Please note, the 31 January deadline only applies to charities with a financial year ending 31 March.

For help and advice complying with charity reporting requirements, get in touch with our expert team today.

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