The Annual Return is a statutory legal document that must be completed annually by every town and parish council as well as every parish meeting.

  • Councillors should ensure that they understand their responsibilities and obligations before agreeing to approve the Annual Return
  • Councillors should have a good understanding of the internal audit requirements, scope and work for their council
  • This is not a document to be “rubber stamped”


This guide is for Town and Parish councillors, clerks and residents.

Its aim is provide clear guidance of the signing and approval process to ensure that councillors have the maximum confidence before they authorise the Chairman to sign on the Council's behalf.

This guide is not a timetable of the process but highlights the increasing level of confidence that may be achieved if done correctly.


Article Contents - Click on a link below

Who signs the Annual Return

When should the Council approve and sign the annual return

Internal Audit considerations


This guide is indicative and not definitive, it is not intended to be a comprehensive list of legal requirements. It is not intended to be an internal audit manual.

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