“File accounts on time,” Welsh charities reminded by watchdog

A quarter of charities in Wales have not sent documents in on time

(Immediate Release - 27 January 2010)





Charities in Wales are being urged by the charity regulator, the Charity Commission, to submit their accounts and Annual Returns on time this year. This comes as the filing deadline for many charities – 31 January – approaches.

Of the 3,334 charities in Wales that were required to submit documents to the Commission during 2009, 26% did not meet their submission deadline. The Commission has an ongoing campaign in Wales to help charities improve their accountability to the public by sending in their documents on time. Charities that had an income of more than £10,000 in their last financial year have to send accounts to the Charity Commission. Some sets of accounts and annual returns, the information charities are required to send annually as well as their accounts, are still outstanding.

A charity’s record in filing accounts and Annual Returns is displayed on the Charity Commission’s website as part of the public Register of Charities. Register entries are outlined in red if documents are overdue. This information can then be accessed on the online Register of Charities by anyone who wants to find out more about a charity; the Register is visited by millions of users every year.

Harry Iles, Head of the Charity Commission’s Wales office, said:

“It is really important that charities send their annual accounts and returns in on time - they are accountable not just to the Commission but, more importantly, to their donors and to those who they exist to help. Not only is compliance with these rules a legal requirement, charities run the risk of damaging their reputations and putting off potential donors if their financial affairs are not in order. Our campaign to improve charities’ accountability to the public has been running since the middle of last year, and we have already seen a 10% increase in the number of documents being filed on time by charities in Wales. We would like to see an even bigger improvement this year, which is why we are reminding all Welsh charities to stay out of the red.”

Charities have ten months from the end of their financial year to send their accounts and Annual Return to the Charity Commission. The most convenient way for charities to submit their details is online at www.charitycommission.gov.uk.

Many charities have a financial year end of March 31, and their filing deadline is January 31. The Commission is urging all charities to file on time this year.

A regional breakdown of these statistics is available. For figures relating to charities based in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea, Vale of Glamorgan, Torfaen or Wrexham, please contact the press office on 020 7674 2332.

Notes to Editors

1. How to find charities in your area and information about them

To find charities in your local area, go to www.charitycommission.gov.uk. If you know the name or registration number of a particular charity you are looking for, type it into the box.

If you want to find local charities;

  • Click on ‘Search the Register of Charities’
  • Select the ‘advance search’ option on the left of the screen
  • If you want to look for charities who have documents overdue, at the top of the search page select ‘charities with latest documents overdue’ as opposed to the default setting of ‘registered charities’.
  • Select the country you are looking in (i.e. England or Wales), and select ‘specific areas’ to choose which county you want.
  • If you wish, you can select how old the charities are you are looking for by selecting date ranges for when they registered
  • If you wish to find charities of a certain size, you can select the income band you want – remember that charities under £10,000 income do not have to send accounts to us, and this threshold for the current financial year has risen to £25,000.
  • The search can provide a maximum of 500 results.

2. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. See www.charitycommission.gov.uk for further information or call our contact centre on 0845 300 0218.

3. The Charity Commission’s Wales office is on the 8th Floor, Clarence House, Clarence Place, Newport, South Wales, NP19 7AA.

4. In January 2009 the Charity Commission published a report on the Welsh charitable sector, A snapshot of charities in Wales. The report includes a range of previously unpublished information on the activity of Welsh charities registered with the Commission, including the following key findings:

  • There are just over 9,000 registered charities in Wales;
  • They have a combined income of just under £1bn;
  • 90% of them carry out their work solely in Wales.

5. This press release is also available in Welsh.

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