More than 1,500 charities risk missing accounts deadline

18 Oct 2016 News

Charity Commission building

Fergus Burnett

The Charity Commission has issued a statement reminding charities with year ends of December 2015 that they have two weeks to file their accounts, and has revealed its latest list of excuses for not filing on time. 

According to the regulator there are 1,579 charities, which last reported an income of more than £250,000 and have a financial year ending December 2015 which have not filed their accounts and need to do so by 31 October. 

“Failing to file, or filing late, can affect your charity’s reputation as well as jeopardise public trust in charities more generally,” the Commission said. “The Commission takes failure to file very seriously and will take action where necessary.”

Charities have ten months from their financial year-end to file accounts and can do so on the Commission's website. 

Excuses for not filing

The regulator said some of the reasons given by charities for not filing their accounts on time include: 

  • I cannot tell you by birthdate it may be used by unscrupulous people (birthdate required for password access)
  • I want to unsubscribe from the Charity Commission and I want my money back 
  • We lost the accounts paperwork in a flood (by a charity whose office is on a large hill)
  • Set of “accounts” submitted with one line “accounts to follow”
  • We don’t know our charity number to file accounts (they provided the charity number in their email)
  • We won’t file until you tell us what your investment rates are 
  • We can’t file, we are too busy
  • When you say you need accounts do you mean bank statements?
  • I have already filed with HMRC why are you bothering me?
  • When I file with the Commission how much grant funding will I get from you?
  • Our accountant is also our independent examiner (no…no…no)
  • Our charity is actually run by the international US based organisation so ask them for paperwork
  • We haven’t filed anything as we don’t have anything (then we’d advise you to remove the charity from the Register)
  • I know I have made a mess of the charity annual return three times in two days, but there was really good TV show that distracted me


More on