Annual Returns to Charities Services

This is my annual reminder that for all registered charities whose end of financial year is the 30 June 2014 (99% of all Methodist entities), that they are required by the Charities Act to make an annual return by 31 December 2014.

You can do this either online or by downloading the Annual Return Form (Form 4) from Charities Services website (  The cost of filing online is lower than filing a paper based return.

You will need your annual accounts completed when you make the annual return as these have to be attached and sent to Charities Services also.

If Annual Returns are not filed, then the registered charity could be deregistered.  If this were to happen, then it places that registered entity at risk from not being a “donee” organisation for tax purposes (cannot issue donation receipts for offering, bequests and other donations) and also may impose income tax obligations on the Officers of the deregistered entity due to recent changes in the Income Tax Act.

For those entities within the Church who do not lodge their returns by the 31 December, the Church has introduced a new protocol to ensure that Annual Returns are made.  The protocol requires me to inform the General Secretary, the Synod Superintendent (or similar person if the entity does not report to a Synod, such as the Chairperson of the Board) that an Annual Return has not been completed by the due date.  In addition, I will be required to report this to the Board of Administration at their next meeting.