Your annual return

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If your PCC is a registered charity, you must submit an Annual Return to the Charity Commission, along with your Annual Report. You have until October to submit, but we recommend submitting straight after your Annual Meeting.

Submit your return online
The Charity Commission encourages you to submit your Annual Return online as it helps to keep their costs down. It is a fairly straightforward process - you can submit through the Charity Commission website here.

The Parish Resources website has guidance notes describing the steps of the online submission process - click here to download them.

A few points to note:
  • You don't need to complete your Annual Return submission in one session. This may be useful if you find you do not have all the information to hand.
  • If you are completing the Annual Return online, you will need to have the PCC's accounts and trustee information available, especially any changes (e.g. new trustees, retiring trustees, changes of address, etc.). You will also need to be aware of changes to any other information provided when completing your charity registration.
  • The first time you complete an on-line Annual Return, a blank dialogue box for the church's Activities will appear. When you registered as a charity, you submitted a list of Activities to demonstrate how your church would provide public benefit, but this information is not publicly displayed. The Activities dialogue included within the Annual Return will be publicly displayed - it is essential to complete it with an up-to-date list of the church’s activities. This could be abbreviated from the original list you completed when completing charity registration, as there is a 400 character limit for the Activities dialogue box. The reported activities must be accurate and current - try to maintain as many of the original activities you mentioned at registration as possible, to minimise questions concerning the relevance of your PCC's public benefit.
  • You must submit your accounts and Independent Examiner’s Report at the same time as the Trustees' report, either in three separate documents or as one combined document, as PDF files. Microsoft Office and other freely available software can convert your documents to PDF, or you could scan a paper copy and save it as a PDF.
  • When submitting online, your annual report, accounts and Independent Examiner’s Report do not need to be signed, as long as your PCC keeps signed copies.
  • If you prefer, you could submit your Annual Return by post, but you would need to ask the Charity Commission for an Annual Return form.