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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Advice on annual reporting and inactive charity accounts

With 31 January 2019 marking a peak annual reporting deadline, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has issued the following advice regarding the reporting duties around inactive charity accounts.

Inactive charity accounts are when a charity has had no financial activity during the year in question, for example there have been no transactions such as deposits or withdrawals during the period.

However, while the accounts may have been inactive, the legal requirement for a registered charity to submit annual accounts and reports to the Commission remains in place.

If, during the reporting year, all the figures are nil, accounts should still be produced in the normal way, showing the nil figures, and must include a trustees’ annual report. In particular, the trustees’ annual report will need to explain what plans the trustees are making for the future to advance the charity’s purposes for the public benefit.

As with all registered charities meeting their annual reporting obligation, the legal requirement to have an independent examination must also be adhered to, which will give assurance to those outside the charity that there was no income or activity to report.

However, if a charity’s gross annual income is nil you are only required to complete Part A of the annual monitoring return, therefore the reporting requirements are reduced.

You can complete and submit your charity’s annual return, accounts and reports securely through the Commission’s Online services portal. You will need your charity number and password to log on securely.

If you wish to obtain further information about annual reporting, visit the Annual reporting section.