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Charity Commission announces changes to annual return process

19th April 2023

The Charity Commission recently announced changes to the annual return process for charities. These changes aim to make the reporting process more efficient and accessible for charities, while also providing greater transparency to the public about how charities operate. Rowleys Associate Director Lisa Parkes, who also leads the Rowleys charities and not-for-profit team, shares more about the changes and what they mean for charities.

Introduction of an online portal

One of the key changes is the introduction of an online portal for submitting annual returns. This portal will streamline the process and make it easier for charities to submit their information. The new portal will replace the current paper-based system, which can be time-consuming and difficult to manage for some charities.

New reporting requirements for larger charities

Another change is the introduction of new reporting requirements for larger charities. Charities with an income over £500,000 will now be required to include additional information in their annual returns, such as details of their fundraising activities and the salaries of their highest-paid employees. This information will be made publicly available on the Charity Commission website, giving donors and supporters a greater insight into how their donations are being used.

The new reporting requirements will also require charities to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, such as board members who have a financial interest in the charity’s activities. This will help to ensure that charities are operating transparently and ethically, and will give the public greater confidence in the sector as a whole.

Changes to annual return questions

The Charity Commission has also made changes to the questions asked in the annual return, to ensure that they are more relevant to the current environment in which charities operate. For example, charities will now be asked to provide information on how they have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they are adapting to changes in the charity sector.


These changes to the annual return process are a positive step for the charity sector and will help to ensure that charities are operating transparently and effectively. By providing greater insight into the activities of charities, the public can make informed decisions about where to donate their money and can have greater confidence in the sector as a whole.

The changes will apply to financial years ending on or after 1st Janaury 2023. Charities should take note of these changes and ensure that they are up-to-date with their reporting requirements. By doing so, they can ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations, and are operating in the most effective and transparent way possible. The Charity Commission will be providing guidance and support to charities throughout this process, and charities should take advantage of these resources to ensure that they are complying with the new requirements.

The full guide to the changes can be found on the Charity Commission website.

Contact us

Rowleys specialist charities and not-for-profit team can help ensure your annual return is compliant with the latest changes. We provide support and advice for a wide range of charities and not-for-profit organisations. For more information on our audit and accounting services, please Get in Touch

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