The Charity Commission for England and Wales has called on charities to update their organisation’s details before submitting an annual return.
It comes after the regulator announced changes to the public register of trustees, which will ban trustees from using a ‘display name’.
From 01 April 2020, all charities trustees will instead have their full legal names published on the register, which can be viewed by members of the public.
It is believed that the change will help promote the “serious” nature and responsibility of being a trustee, as well as increase transparency and accountability to the public.
In light of this upcoming change, the Charity Commission has now asked all charity trustees to update their details, ensuring any existing information is up to date and all new trustees are added accordingly. This includes their home address, email address and telephone number, although these details will not be published on the register.
Charities also have a duty to ensure that each named person is not disqualified from acting as a trustee.
“Trustees of all charities have a legal obligation to keep the details on the charity register accurate and up to date. This helps maintain public trust and confidence in the charity sector and enables us to contact you with important regulatory information,” said the Charity Commission.
And finally, charities must now provide details of all bank and building society accounts in operation.
Commenting on this change, the regulator said: “Trustees have a duty to act responsibly, reasonably and honestly and protect charity funds and assets so that they are only used to support or carry out its purposes.
“Working inside the regulated banking system is the best way to achieve this. Holding a bank account also aids with transparency providing an audit trail and records, such as bank statements.”
The 2018-19 charity annual return also includes a host of new questions, two of which ask charities to detail salary information and overseas expenditure.
For help and advice completing your charity annual return, contact a member of our expert team today.