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Charities & Not-For-Profits Law in Australia

Category Archives: Governance

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Changes to Retirement Villages Regulation in NSW

Posted in General, Governance

The Retirement Villages Regulation 2009 NSW will be automatically repealed on 1 September 2017. There has been a consultation process underway which has now been finalised and a new Regulation will come into force on and from 1 September 2017. Operators and residents should familiarise themselves with these changes. The major changes that are proposed… Continue Reading

Remunerating Charity Board Members

Posted in Compliance, Fundraising, Governance

The ACNC have recently released an information paper ‘Remunerating Charity Board Members‘ for charities considering paying board members for their services as a board member. The term ‘board members’ is used throughout the information paper to generically refer to the responsible persons of a charity, such as committee members, directors or Trustees. The ACNC have… Continue Reading

Crowdfunding and Charities

Posted in Fundraising, Governance

Crowdfunding has become a very popular method of online fundraising for charities and not‑for‑profits. It generally involves an organisation setting a fundraising target online and then asking those on the internet (the crowd) for donations to reach that target. The ACNC has issued some information for charities and donors about the use of crowdfunding.  In… Continue Reading

School Building Funds’ Compliance Reminder

Posted in Compliance, Fundraising, General, Governance

A reminder to check your School Building Funds’ compliance with the ATO requirements. School and College Building Funds may attract the attention of the ATO’s compliance program this year.  The ATO develops and implements its compliance program annually, which identifies key areas for its compliance activities for the financial year.  The compliance program targets areas… Continue Reading

Reporting Deadline for Charities and Public Ancillary Funds Fast Approaching!

Posted in Compliance, Fundraising, General, Governance, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

The ATO and ACNC are reminding charities and ancillary funds that the annual reporting period is fast approaching. Charities Charities registered with the ACNC (that have an annual year end of 30 June) have less than a week to submit their Annual Information Statement (AIS) to the ACNC. The AIS should be lodged via the… Continue Reading

ACNC Releases Commissioner’s Interpretation Statement on Public Benevolent Institutions

Posted in Compliance, Fundraising, General, Governance, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

The ACNC Commissioner has just released the ACNC’s Interpretation Statement on Public Benevolent Institutions. The Interpretation Statement provides guidance on the ACNC’s interpretation of the law pertaining to Public Benevolent Institutions (PBI) and insight into how the ACNC and its staff will assess a charitable organisation’s entitlement for endorsement as a PBI. The Interpretation Statement… Continue Reading

ACNC Launches Registered Charity Tick

Posted in Compliance, Governance

Last week, the ACNC launched a “Registered Charity Tick”. The tick may be used by charities registered on the ACNC Charity Register which are up to date with ACNC financial reporting requirements and meet the regulator’s governance standards. The tick will allow donors to easily identify registered charitable organisations complying with these requirements. Ms Susan… Continue Reading

Legal Questions for Every Charity & Not-For-Profit Organisation | Issue 3: Privacy

Posted in Governance, Liability & Risk, Privacy

In our third issue of “Legal Questions for Every Charity and Not-For-Profit Organisation” we deal with the topic of Privacy. The update forms part of our series of short summaries of legal issues that we have noticed during the course of advising our clients are common and important to charities and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations. PRIVACY  Do you know whether your organisation is required to… Continue Reading

Legal Questions for Every Charity & Not-For-Profit Organisation | Issue 1: Governance

Posted in Governance

During the course of advising charities and not-for-profit organisations over many years, we have noticed some common issues that are important to our clients. Over the next few months, we will run a series of short summaries of those legal issues that every charity and not-for-profit organisation should consider. This month we will deal with the topic of governance. It… Continue Reading

New NSW Associations Laws to Commence 1 September 2016

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance, Liability & Risk

New NSW Associations Laws to Commence on 1 September 2016 Important amendments to the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW) and the Associations Incorporation Regulation 2016 (NSW) will commence on 1 September 2016. These amendments will affect both existing Associations and the registration process for new Associations in NSW. The following summary highlights the key changes:… Continue Reading

The ACNC is here to stay!

Posted in Compliance, Fundraising, General, Governance, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

Following two years of speculation regarding the future of the charity regulator, earlier today the Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter confirmed that the Federal Government has decided to keep the Australian Charities and Not-for Profits Commission (ACNC). The Liberal Government was elected on a platform to abolish the ACNC and a Bill to abolish… Continue Reading

ABR and ACNC enter into a data sharing agreement

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance

In a further step to provide a user-friendly and reliable source of data for the community, last week the Australian Business Register (ABR) and Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate data sharing between the two agencies. Occasionally, there are data discrepancies between the two registers… Continue Reading

Charity Sector Update

Posted in Compliance, Fundraising, General, Governance, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

Future of the ACNC slowly becomes more certain Earlier this month, the (then) Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison stated that “there is very strong support for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and I don’t believe there would be any support in the Senate for there to be any change.” Many in the sector were… Continue Reading

Template Governing Document Released by the ACNC

Posted in Compliance, Fundraising, General, Governance

Last week the ACNC released a one page document to be used as a template governing document for registered charities who otherwise don’t have a constitution which satisfies the requirements of the ACNC. This template governing document is for charities which are created by an Act of Parliament or are governed by  Canon Law and… Continue Reading

Time is running out for Public Ancillary Funds: You have until 1 July 2015 to comply

Posted in Compliance, Fundraising, General, Governance, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

On 2 March 2012, we reported that new laws had been introduced regarding the way public ancillary funds are structured, operated and wound up. What is a Public Ancillary Fund? A Public Ancillary Fund is a type of fund that is entitled to deductible gift recipient (DGR) status and provides a link between charitable organisations that… Continue Reading

The ACNC’s Future Becoming More Certain

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

The ACNC’s Future Becoming More Certain Barely 7 weeks into his new role Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison declared on Friday that scrapping the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is not a priority in his new portfolio. His statement to Fairfax Media demonstrates a clear and decisive policy shift away from his predecessor, former Social Services… Continue Reading

ATO releases Draft Special Conditions TR2014/D5

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

The ATO has released the Draft Special Conditions Ruling TR 2014/D5 – Income Tax: special conditions for various entities whose ordinary and statutory income is exempt           In August the ATO released draft ruling TR 2014/D5 regarding the proposed application of special conditions inserted by the Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures… Continue Reading

The Future of the ACNC Remains Uncertain

Posted in Compliance, Fundraising, General, Governance

The Future of the ACNC Remains Uncertain On 16 June 2014 the Senate Committee delivered a divided report on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (Repeal) (No 1) Bill 2014 (No 1 Bill). No 1 Bill Unsurprisingly, the Liberal Senators supported the abolition of the ACNC, however, the Labor and Greens Senators offered dissenting reports… Continue Reading

Missing charities could lose tax concessions

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

The ACNC has recently released a register of charities that have not responded to communication from the regulator (i.e. no known address/contact details or correspondence has been returned to sender). Charities on this database risk losing their entitlements to charity tax concessions and have until 30 June 2014 to update their details and contact the… Continue Reading

The Unrelated Business Income Tax is (finally!) dead

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance

Just weeks before the intended commencement of the “Better Targeting of NFP Tax Concessions” measure, the Acting Assistant Treasurer has issued a press release stating “the Government has considered alternatives to the previous government’s better targeting of not-for-profit tax concessions measure. We have concluded that they are not required at this time”. This news will… Continue Reading

ATO changes lodgement requirements for organisations with over $20 million GST turnover

Posted in Compliance, Governance

Does your organisation turnover more than $20 million annually? If so, there are changes to the New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act) that you need to be aware of. The GST Act requires all entities with over $20 million GST turnover to report monthly and lodge activity statements electronically. The… Continue Reading

Government to Repeal the ACNC

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

Government Introduces Legislation to Repeal the ACNC This morning the Coalition Government introduced a suite of legislation to repeal thousands of Acts, Bills and Regulations in an effort to “cut red tape”. In line with the Government’s pre-election promise, the planned abolition of the ACNC has been tabled as part of the Australian Charities and… Continue Reading