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.
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:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your charity name and registration number.
Find out more about how we support charitable organisations with accounting software that can meet the challenges of charity accounting.