Charity compliance update June 2018

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Jen Gerrard rounds up a relatively quiet month on the compliance front as we hit the holiday season and the regulatory teams seem to be taking a well-earned rest (except for OSCR it would seem). Read on for this month’s update in all things compliance.

Charity annual return 2018 - update

Later this summer the Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCEW) will launch their new look annual return. I previously reviewed the 2017 consultation (and responses) in Jan 2018.

Specific updates from the CCEW on 6 June included the following areas which are voluntary for 2018 but which will become mandatory from 2019:

Overseas income: The CCEW has called for charities to identify and group their overseas income by source. “We have made those parts of the question set relating to other private institutions outside the UK (other than charities, Non-Governmental Organisations and Non-Profit Organisations) and individual donors outside the UK voluntary for annual return 2018,” said the CCEW.

Overseas expenditure: The CCEW wished to establish how charities transfer and monitor funds sent overseas.

“The questions about methods of transferring money outside the regulated banking system, and about monitoring controls and risk management, will be voluntary for annual return 2018,” said CCEW.

With regards to the collection of information around salaries and benefits for charity staff members, the CCEW said:

“In the annual return for 2018 we will ask for a breakdown of salaries across income bands, and the amount of total employee benefits for the highest paid member of staff.

“But, in response to concerns raised during the consultation, we will not publish details of benefits given to the paid member of staff on the public register.”

OSCR blog watch

OSCR has released the following guidance for Scottish charities since our last update:

Clarification on letters sent to SCIOs from HMRC (10 May 2018): HMRC inadvertently sent requests for information around SCIO business activity following the addition of SCIOs in the Registrar’s Index of Company Names. Charities have been urged to contact HMRC directly.

Our survey says… public trust remains stable (24 May 2018): Handy infographic or full PDF downloads of public and charity surveys are available

OSCR produces new fraud guidance (6 June 2018): How to reduce the risk of fraud in Scottish charities.

Consultations open or pending a response

Here’s our monthly round-up of (and links to) key consultation opportunities and those closed, pending feedback.

The following consultations are currently open and inviting a response:

OSCR: Consultation on disclosure regime (4 June 2018) – proposals to simplify and modernise the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme.

The full consultation document, including details on how to respond, can be found here.

Charity Tax Commission (CTC): The CTC has called for a review of charitable tax reliefs, with the last comprehensive review being conducted some 20 years ago.

The CTC said that it is “keen to receive thoughts about the effectiveness of current reliefs….and whether the existing system could be improved in order for charities to better serve their beneficiaries”.

Submission of the call for evidence template – downloadable here – is to be made via email to [email protected] by 5pm on 6 July 2018.

The following consultations are closed with feedback analysis pending – watch this space for an update in future briefings:

Fundraising Regulator – three-part consultation on the code of fundraising practice: The first two parts (A and B) invited feedback on specific issues raised by the sector in relation to complaints handling and the TPS Assured Certification.

Part C proposed to introduce a new section to the code for online fundraising platforms and aims to ensure that these platforms provide adequate and clear good practice guidance to individuals setting up a fundraising page on their sites. 

It also aims to ensure relevant platforms follow the legal requirements set out within the recently introduced Payment Services Regulation 2017.

Charity Commission and OSCR – Charities SORP: A consultation was launched on 20 February 2018 (which ran until 4 April 2018) focusing on 21 proposed amendments to the SORP which were considered necessary because of the changes made in December 2017 to FRS 102.

These changes are to be made via a second Update Bulletin and include:

  • the introduction of an accounting policy choice for entities that rent investment property to another group entity
  • the clarification of the accounting treatment for payments by subsidiaries to their charitable parents that qualify for gift aid
  • the clarification of the requirement for comparatives for disclosures required by the SORP
  • the introduction of a requirement for a net debt reconciliation to be prepared as a note

Initial consultation responses can be viewed here, pending analysis of full feedback.

Charity Commission for England and Wales: The use and promotion of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM): making decisions about charitable status – closed on 19 May 2017.

This consultation is about the Commission’s approach to deciding whether an organisation which uses or promotes CAM therapies is a charity.

Charities that are connected with non-charitable organisations: maintaining your charity’s separation and independence. This consultation closed on 15 May 2018.

HMRC

Charity Commission for Northern Ireland: Annual monitoring return 2018 – closed on 21 November 2017.

Changes apply to charities’ financial years starting on or after 1 January 2018. A full consultation report is due in spring 2018.

Office of Tax Simplification (OTS): Review of depreciation and capital allowances and whether the use of accounts depreciation to provide relief for capital expenditure instead of capital allowances would simplify the preparation of tax returns for incorporated and unincorporated business.

Deadline for responses was 30 November 2017. For more information about the OTS’s call for evidence see here.

About Jen Gerrard

Jen Gerrard

Jen is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and the founder and managing director of Gerrard Financial Consulting, a specialist accounting firm for the charitable sector. She has over 17 years’ experience working in accounting and finance and has also worked as an accountancy tutor for a leading training provider.

Jen has been a trustee of the Southville Community Development Association (2014 to 2017), Self Injury Self Help (SISH) (2013-2016), the Oswestry Food & Drink Festival and Impact AAS (2007 to 2010). In addition to being a current Trustee of Women’s Aid Federation of England, Jen has been a registered volunteer with Volunteer Bristol for four years and is a Member of the ICAEW Charity & Voluntary Sector Specialist Group.

Jen sits on the South West & Wales Regional Engagement Forum of the Charity Finance Group and makes regular contributions to articles in national publications – most recently AccountingWEB and Charity Finance Focus (produced by the CFG). She is also a regular speaker on charity finance and governance matters.

Her firm is a corporate member of the Charity Finance Group and was shortlisted in two categories for the AccountingWEB Practice Excellence Awards 2016. This is in recognition of the company’s innovative work with charities and NFPs to streamline their finance functions through adoption of new technology.

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