The Charity Commission has warned charities that the deadline for submitting the 2017 annual return is fast approaching. The deadline for charities with a standard 12-month accounting period is 31 October 2018. According to the Charity Commission, there are many charities that have yet to file their annual return. Not filing on time means that the charity will be in default, and this information may be displayed to the public on the charity register.The annual return is separate from the charity’s annual accounts and the charity tax return sent to HMRC.The 2018 annual return will see the addition of new questions which are added to ensure greater transparency.They will include:Charities being asked to provide more information about salaries to increase accountability and in response to public concern about high levels of pay.Charities will need to provide a breakdown of salaries across income bands, and the amount of total employee benefits for the highest paid member of staff.In response to a number of concerns raised, the Charity Commission will not publish details of benefits given to the highest paid member of staff on the public register.There will also be two new sets of questions regarding charitable expenditure overseas. This will establish how charities transfer and monitor funds sent overseas and about income sources from outside the UK.The completion of these question sets will be optional for the 2018 annual return to give charities time to gather and record the necessary information. The two question sets will become mandatory for the 2019 annual return and thereafter.