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When is the Charity Commission filing deadline?

The Charity Commission registers and regulates charities to ensure that the public’s donations are being used honestly and correctly - and in the way they are advertised. If you’re responsible for charity accounting, below you will find everything you need to know about your responsibilities when it comes to filing annual returns with the Charity Commission.
AccountsIQ General Terms

When is the Charity Commission filing deadline?

The deadline for filing your annual returns depends upon when your financial year ends - but it is exactly 10 calendar months from that date. So for example, if the end of your charity’s financial year is on 31st March, you must submit your annual return by 31st January the following calendar year.

Which charities need to submit a Charity Commission file?

Regardless of the field that your charity operates in, any organisation in England and Wales with a registered charity number is required to submit an annual return to the Charity Commission. Exactly what information needs to be included in this depends on the annual income of the charity:

  • Under £10,000: You will only need to report your income and spending.
  • Between £10,000 and £25,000: You will need to report your income and spending and answer questions about your charity.
  • Over £25,000: You must answer questions about your charity, get your accounts checked and provide copies of supporting documents.
  • Over £1 million: You will need to complete all of the above as well as being subject to a full charity audit each year.

Are there penalties for missing the Charity Commission filing deadline?

No penalties are issued for missing the deadline, but a late return will appear on the charity’s public record. If your charity is marked as persistently late-filing then you may be issued with an official warning.

Can you apply for a filing extension?

Thousands of charities were granted filing extensions during the Covid-19 pandemic due to the enormous challenges that it presented for their activities and finances. However, since restrictions have eased, the guidance has been updated to state that a charity can still apply for a three-month extension if it is for Covid-related reasons - you need to email with your charity name and registration number.

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