Charity trustees who are lax over accounting have received a warning from the Charity Commission that if they fail to file annual reports, accounts and returns (‘the annual documents’) for two or more years, they will be subject to an investigation by the Commission.

It is not widely known that failing to submit the annual documents is a criminal offence. It is a common characteristic of charities that have poor governance and is often a feature of charities in which a misapplication of funds is discovered.

The Commission will start with larger charities (those that have a last known income of more than £500,000 a year) that have failed to file the annual documents twice in the last five years.

The names of the first 12 charities to be subject to enquiry have been announced publicly.


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