New Zealand Law Society - All charities need to submit an annual return

All charities need to submit an annual return

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All charities are required to file annual returns and performance reports with Charities Services, regardless of their level of activity during the year, the charities regulator says in its April newsletter.

The obligation is set out in the Charities Act 2005, which specifies that a registered charity must provide both for each financial year it remains registered.

Charities Services says it began its second year of reporting checks in October 2017 and these have steadily progressed during 2018.

"As of March 2018, over 300 checks have been completed with great results. Overall, the adoption of the financial reporting standards has increased significantly from 65% to 82%. The Tier 4 category, in particular, shows exceptional improvement moving from 56% attempting to use the new standards in 2017 to 72% this year."

Charities Services says some Tier 2 charities are filing summary financial statements instead of the full set. Summary statements are not acceptable under the Act. Some charities which are required to have an audit are not filing their audit opinions with their financial statements or performance reports.

"Despite the overall improvement, the figures ... show that there is still a significant number of charities not applying the standards. If you know anyone involved with a charity please help us to remind them that the financial reporting standards are mandatory for all registered charities," it says.