If your charity's annual return is overdue, you will need to complete it before we can respond to any other queries or requests.
Starting a charity
The Charity Commission registers existing charities. We cannot tell you whether starting a new charity is the right thing to do or advise you on whether your organisation or project is capable of being registered until you make a formal application.
Read our general guidance on starting a charity:
Filing your annual return
The annual return is online only; there is no paper alternative. We cannot give extensions to filing deadlines under any circumstances.
Managing your charity
Trustee handbook Sets out key material trustees should know and includes a guide to our online services
Download PDF (244 Kb)
Updating your charity's details
Use our online services to change your charity's correspondent, record a change in trustees or financial year end. We will not do this for you manually (unless your password is no longer available and your correspondent cannot be contacted). You need to use our online service:
Interpreting your governing document
You and the other trustees are responsible for reading and understanding your charity's governing document. If another organisation (such as an umbrella body) drafted your governing document, ask them for advice. If your governing document is one of our models, please read the guidance within it.
Read more about governing documents:
Changing your charity's name or governing document
Use our online form to tell us about or get our authority for a change to your charity's governing document:
Find out whether you need our authority to make payments to a trustee or a connected person:
Closing your charity
Notify us that your charity has closed and needs to be removed from the register of charities:
Complaints about charities:
Find out which complaints we can and cannot look into:
- Complain about a charity (GOV.UK website)
If you want to stop a charity telephoning you and making unsolicited marketing calls you should register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS):
How to complain to us
If you are concerned that there's a risk of serious harm to a charity, its assets or the people it is set up to benefit, you should tell us about the issue. You will need to provide any evidence you have:
We can provide a copy of the full register of charities in electronic format. However, it is subject to Crown database copyright and we will only provide it when we are satisfied certain conditions have been met. Please read our copyright policy - you should only contact us if you feel you can satisfy the conditions for the provision of this information:
Proof of charitable registration
Charity trustees can use our online services to view and print a charity certificate:
VAT, gift aid, tax relief
All tax-related matters concerning charities are handled by HMRC:
- VAT, gift aid and tax guidance for charities (HMRC website)
Do we need DBS (CRB) checks?
We cannot give you specific advice on whether your charity trustees or staff require DBS checks. Use the following links to see our general advice or to contact the DBS:
The Charity Commission does not provide funding to charities. However, there may be some charities that can help you. You can search the register of charities to find charities which provide funds to organisations or individuals. Use the dropdown menus in ‘Classification' to narrow your search.
Fundraising is not itself a charitable purpose, so we cannot give advice on specific forms of fundraising. The following websites provide assistance in understanding the forms and law associated with fundraising:
The FRSB is the independent self-regulatory body for UK fundraising, and the public point of contact for complaints relating to any kind of fundraising (with the exception of those that fall within the Commission’s regulatory interest – see the category Complaints above)
Sets the standards for all fundraising including the production of codes of practice.
Plays a specialist role focused on distribution and enforcement of face-to-face fundraising.
Do you need someone to supply you with services?
The Charity Commission does not maintain lists of suppliers and cannot recommend particular businesses.
Providing your query does not fall within one of these categories, you can contact us: