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Charity Commission clamps down on late filers …

13th February 2014

The Charity Commission continues to focus resources on charities that are late in filing their returns. Of 61,000 charities with an income over £25,000 per annum, around 5,334 are listed as being in default. The Charity Commission instigated action at the end of 2013 against charities who have failed to file their accounts on time for two of the five previous years.

Sam Younger, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, said: ‘We will not tolerate charities that demonstrate contempt for the public they are accountable to by failing to meet reporting requirements. We are continuing to target double-defaulting charities and we will pursue these breaches of duty.’

Trustees cite the following reasons for failure to make the necessary returns: trustees do not know what paperwork is needed; failure to hand the necessary information to their auditors and accountants in sufficient time; ill health of staff; absence from the UK; difficult family situations and bad administration.

Michelle Russell, the Charity Commission’s head of investigations and enforcement, said: ‘None of these reasons alleviate the trustees from the duty to file accounts with the Commission on time. Not submitting accounts or submitting accounts late raises serious concerns with the Commission and we now also know that three out of four charity donors would not give their money to a charity overdue on its accounts. Trustees should take heed of this’.

Of the 24 charities with a turnover of over £250,000pa which are subject to the ‘double defaulting’ inquiry by the Charity Commission only 8 remain as part of the ongoing inquiry.

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