Every charity on the Register of Charities must file an Annual Report with the Charities Regulator within 10 months of their financial year end, as required by section 52 of the Charities Act 2009 (“the Act”). Failure to file an Annual Report on time is an offence under the Act for the charity and its charity trustees. Despite this, the number of charities filing their Annual Report on time has declined in recent years with just 64% of registered charities doing so on time in 2021.

The Charities Regulator takes a proportionate approach where charities breach the requirements of the Act, and in most cases will seek to work with charities to bring them into compliance in the first instance. However, although reminders are issued in the lead-up to a charity’s filing deadline and when the deadline has passed, some charities still fail to file their Annual Report.In the interests of transparency and fairness to those charities that do file their Annual Reports on time, the Charities Regulator is adopting a stricter approach to enforcing compliance with this obligation and is currently implementing a targeted compliance programme to increase levels of compliance with annual reporting obligations.

As part of this work, the Charities Regulator is currently making contact with charities and charity trustees that have Annual Reports outstanding for a considerable period to warn them of the possible consequences if they remain in breach of the Act. This includes possible enforcement action such as prosecution of the charity and the individual charity trustees and /or removal of the charity form the Register of Charities.

The Charities Regulator encourages all charity trustees to check their charity’s Annual Reporting compliance status.  Charities and charity trustees can confirm if they are up to date with their Annual Report filing obligations by checking their charity’s information on the public Register of Charities.  Charities who find that they have not submitted their last Annual Report by the 10-month deadline are encouraged to take immediate action and arrange for the submission of the Annual Report as a matter of urgency.

A step-by-step guide and ‘how to’ video providing information on the process for filing Annual Reports for charities is available in the dedicated Annual Reporting section of our website, as well as guidance on what to do if you can’t login into the charity’s MyAccount portal.