Charities risk reputational damage by submitting late returns

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Warning to get annual return in on time 

13th January 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Charities risk reputational damage by not submitting their annual return on time according to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

Third sector groups are required to submit the information within nine months of their organisation’s financial year.

If, despite numerous reminders from OSCR, they fail to provide their returns, the Scottish Charity Register will clearly mark their entry when they are late.

Around 12% of charities who miss their deadline submit within 1.5 months of being late.

Currently, 1,600 Scottish charities (6.5% of the total) have missed their deadline and have still to submit annual documentation to OSCR.

Latest figures show that 83.3% of Scottish charities submitted their annual return on time to the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) in 2019.

OSCR’s chief executive Maureen Mallon said: “Being a registered charity is something to be proud of and this status comes with a number of responsibilities. A charity that fails to meet their obligations can damage their own reputation and potentially affect public confidence in charities.

“Annual reporting allows charities to demonstrate the great work they do. We recognise that the vast majority use this opportunity to their advantage.

“It is disappointing to see a number who have still to provide the information despite our reminders and OSCR and other bodies being there to help them. Although this number is proportionately small relative to the total number of charities, their failure is still of concern.”

“As the regulator, we have powers to take action on charities who do not meet their duties and we allocate resources to enable us to engage further with charities that are significantly late. However, the best solution for the charities in question is to take this responsibility seriously and submit the required documentation quickly.

“There is guidance on annual reporting on our website, and if anyone needs further support they should not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible.”

Charities can submit annual information online - visit here for more information.