Filing an annual return with a balance date BEFORE 31 March 2016

Charities with their financial year (balance date) ending before the 31st of March 2016 can continue to submit the previous annual return.

To file a Return you will need:

  • your Username and password to log into your account or a printed copy of an Annual Return form and

  • a copy of the financial statements for your last financial year.

We encourage you to file your Annual Return online; you can do this by logging into your charity's dashboard. Filing your Annual Return online costs less than filing on paper. In addition, it’s already partly completed for you using your details from the Charities Register and you can complete your Return in stages by logging in and out. 

Your charity's Annual Return needs to be submitted within 6 months of its balance date (financial year end). 

Information needed to complete your Annual Return

Charity details

  • Your charity’s legal or most formal name
  • Any other names it is known by
  • Postal and street address
  • Phone, fax, email and website details (these contact details are optional), and
  • Your Charities Services registration number.

Financial information

  • End of financial year/balance date

  • A reasonable estimate of the percentage of any funds sourced in New Zealand but spent overseas in your last financial year

  • A copy of the financial statements for your last financial year (they don’t have to be audited)

  • The type of accounting method you use, cash or accrual

  • A statement of your financial performance and position set out in the template in the Annual Return. See Annual Return financial information help notes for more details.

Your people

  • The approximate number of paid full time and paid part time employees that work for you in an average week, and the approximate number of hours they work.
  • The approximate number of volunteers that work for you in an average week, and the approximate number of hours they work.

Statistical information

You will need to specify by choosing from a list:

  • the sectors your organisation operates in – for example, “health”.
  • your activities – for example, “makes grants”.
  • who benefits from your organisation.
  • the geographical area your organisation operates in.

Information that may accompany your Annual Return

  • The name, phone and email details of the person you would like us to contact regarding any administrative matters. (For example, if we find a question has been overlooked.)

  • A letter asking us to restrict public access to your information on the Register. See Restricting information for more information.

Helpful tips for filing online

  • Ask the person who does your accounts to send you an electronic copy of your charity’s financial statements. Make sure you’ve received it before you sit down to file your Return online.
  • If you only have paper copies of your financial statements or other supporting documents such as new rules, have them scanned and saved as an electronic file. You can do this at your local library or, (in many areas), your Citizens’ Advice Bureau. There may be a charge for this service.
  • Save all the electronic documents into a folder on your computer.  It doesn’t matter what format they are saved in – a .pdf is best, but a Word document or Excel spreadsheet is fine.

Financial information help notes