Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Essex: Investigation reveals hundreds of charities failing to file accounts

13:00 04 February 2013

Former NHS worker must pay back money

Former NHS worker must pay back money


HUNDREDS of charities across Essex are failing to publicly declare what their cash is being spent on, it has emerged.

According to the Charity Commission’s website, there are 259 charities in the county that are failing to submit their annual returns, with some going back as far as seven years.

If a charity’s annual income is more than £10,000 it is a legal requirement for the trustees to send the Commission an annual return each year, which is then published online.

However, an investigation carried out by the East Anglian Daily Times revealed that 29 charities in north Essex have outstanding documents, including one which receives thousands of pounds in grants from its town council.

The Charity Commission said it was vital charities were “open and transparent” with their donors and urged all those which are yet to send in their paperwork to do so as soon as possible.

A number of the charity trustees in question that the EADT spoke to said changes in leadership and poor handovers from their predecessors meant they were unaware they had to submit paperwork. Others said because of the small number of volunteers which work for their charity, it was difficult to manage administrative duties on top of the work they do for the community. Polly Kettenacker, a spokeswoman for the Charity Commission, said: “Charities have to try to be open and transparent with their donors.

“Yes, there is accountability on the trustees but funders also have a duty to check a charity’s financial records.

“Our advice would be don’t give to charities if their accounts are overdue. If the charity is funded by a local authority or grant making body, what checks have been made?”

The Government is currently reviewing the Charities Act and the Charity Commission says it has suggested charities that file accounts late should be prevented from claiming gift aid.

“We are limited in what sanctions we can give,” Ms Kettenacker added. “We do have some powers, which are quite robust, but it would take a lot more than a late submission of accounts for the Commission to interact directly with a charity.

“We believe there should be an economic sanction on charities, that is from HM Revenue and Customs.”

She said 86% of charities do send their paperwork in on time but sometimes when accounts are filed late it is because the charities no longer exist and have not notified the Commission.

Charities with an annual income of £10,000 or less do not have to file at all, but are required to inform them if their details have changed.

“If we haven’t heard from a charity after having sent out reminders we will assume they no longer exist and take them off the system,” Ms Kettenacker added.

However, she said sometimes it is not possible if the charity owns significant assets.


  • So there you are, just be careful which charities you give your money to. They are not all honest.

    Report this comment


    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Interesting article, especially as charities are likely to get reminders from the Charity Commission. Best check to see if your accountant sent them - it might not be the charity!

    Report this comment

    Keith Adams

    Monday, February 4, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Magistrates' Court in Ipswich

A disqualified motorist banned for a drink-drive related offence was caught driving again while nearly four-and-a-half times the limit within two hours of his conviction.

Gina Long

A Suffolk-based charity auction which has attracted bids from all over the world and raised more than £870,000 since its inception is aiming to break the £1million mark for national and local charities this year.

Stock photo - Clown pranksters have been spotted in suffolk this weekend

Suffolk police officers have been called to a clown sighting in Haughley, near Stowmarket this afternoon.

American tycoon Donald Trump

Fight or flight is fascinating, writes Ellen Widdup.

Police were called to the scene of an accident.

The A12 is now running smoothly after severe traffic delays earlier at Feering, Essex, caused by a two-car crash.

Suffolk Constabulary CCTV footage of Corrie McKeague

Some stores display a polite notice next to initial merchandise asking shoppers not to rearrange the items to create rude words.

Annual Apple Day at Holywells Park, on Saturday.Isabelle Lipscombe and Isabella Smart.

Hundreds of youngsters braved the cold October temperatures to celebrate all things autumn at the Holywells Park Apple Day.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists

Don't miss


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24