‘Missing’ $200 Archewell cheque was not processed by tax office

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pictured at a polo fundraiser event in Lagos, Nigeria

A missing $200 cheque sent by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Archewell Foundation to Californian authorities was received but never processed, it was claimed today,

The couple’s charitable organisation has been sent a “delinquency notice” warning that it could be subjected to fines or even suspended from the state’s charity register.

The notice, sent by California’s Attorney General on May 3, suggests that Archewell did not file its annual report or related fees on time.

It states: “The above captioned entity is listed as delinquent with the Registry of Charities and Fundraisers for failing to submit required annual report(s) and/or renewal fees.

“An organisation that is listed as delinquent is not in good standing and is prohibited from engaging in conduct for which registration is required, including soliciting or disbursing charitable funds.”

Letter from Rob Bonta, California's attorney general, prevoiusly said that the Sussexes let the registration fee for Archewell lapse
Letter from Rob Bonta, California's attorney general, prevoiusly said that the Sussexes let the registration fee for Archewell lapse

The Sussexes’ team was not aware there was an issue until they received the notice, dated May 3.

They initially assumed the cheque must have gone missing in the post but have since managed to track the mail and find acknowledgment of receipt.

Sources told The Telegraph on Tuesday that they now believe the delinquency notice was issued because the cheque was not processed by the Attorney General’s office.

Another cheque has since been sent and Archewell expects the matter to be rectified in a matter of days.

The money will cover the cost of its annual registration renewal, which is determined by a sliding scale based on an organisation’s total revenue.

The delinquency notice has now been removed
The delinquency notice has now been removed

A 2022 tax filing filed last year revealed that Archewell suffered an $11m drop in donations on the previous year, with total revenue listed at just over $2 million.

The tax return shows that the foundation spent more than it received in 2022, resulting in a deficit of $674,000. However, it maintained assets of some $8.5 million.

Archewell employed five people, with salaries totalling $640,441 for the year. Harry and Meghan did not take a salary.

A statement released by California’s Department of Justice on Tuesday night revealed that the delinquency notice had been removed. It said the Archewell Foundation is “current and in good standing”.

An Archewell spokesperson said on Tuesday evening: “We have diligently investigated the situation and can confirm that The Archewell Foundation remains fully compliant and in good standing.

“Due payments were made promptly and in accordance with the IRS’s processes and procedures. Furthermore, all necessary paperwork had been filed by the Foundation without error or wrongdoing.”