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Charities & Not-For-Profits Law in Australia

Category Archives: Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

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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

Legal Questions for Every Charity & Not-For-Profit Organisation | Issue 2: Charitable Tax Concessions

Posted in Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

As advised in Issue 1: Governance, during the course of advising charities and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations over many years, we have noticed some common issues that are important to our clients. Over the next few months, we will continue to run a series of short summaries of those legal issues that every charity and not-for-profit organisation should consider. This… 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

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

Tax deductibility for school donations

Posted in Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

Federal Parliament has recently passed legislation that allows tax deductibility for donations to a new education charity called Australian Schools Plus. For the first time, this will allow donors to receive a DGR receipt for donations for general educational purposes to particular schools. What are the Opportunities for Deductible Gift Donations for Schooling? Up until… 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

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

Full Federal Court unanimously confirms that Hunger Project Australia is a Public Benevolent Institution

Posted in Compliance, General, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

Earlier today the Full Federal Court handed down its judgment regarding the Hunger Project Australia case and rejected the Commissioner of Taxation’s appeal (Commissioner of Taxation v Hunger Project Australia [2014] FCAFC 69). The court has unanimously held that Hunger Project Australia (HPA) does not need to directly give aid in order to be endorsed… 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

ACNC Annual Information Statement Deadline Approaching

Posted in Compliance, General, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

ACNC Deadline Approaching Have you submitted your 2013 Annual Information Statement? Regardless of size or purpose all charities registered with the ACNC must submit an Annual Information Statement to the Commissioner each year. The first AIS will need to be completed for the 2012-2013 financial year. If your charity has a financial year calendar (ending… Continue Reading

Charities Act to Commence on 1 January 2014

Posted in Compliance, General, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

On Thursday last week (the last sitting day before the Christmas break), the Senate adjourned debate on the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (which included the amendment to delay the Charities Act) and ran out of time to return to the debate before rising for the holidays. This means that the Charities Act… Continue Reading

Charities Act Delayed and ACNC to be Abolished

Posted in Compliance, General, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

Earlier this week, the Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews reconfirmed his plans to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). At the Disability Services CEO conference Minister Andrews stated “to benefit civil society as a whole, the Government has committed to abolishing the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, with repeal legislation to be… Continue Reading

ACNC Annual Information Statement – 2013 Deadline Extended

Posted in Compliance, General, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

Some Good News From the ACNC! The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) has just announced that the reporting deadline for the Annual Information Statement (AIS) due on 31 December 2013 for many charities has been extended to 31 March 2014. Regardless of size or purpose all charities registered with the ACNC must submit an… Continue Reading

Home Health Pty Ltd – What is an “Institution”?

Posted in Compliance, General, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

On 3 July 2013 the Administrative Appeals Tribunal upheld the decision of the Commissioner of Taxation to refuse endorsement of Home Health Pty Ltd as a public benevolent institution or a charitable institution. Home Health Pty Ltd (Home Health), a mental health services provider is a proprietary company incorporated on 9 June 1997. The Tribunal… Continue Reading

ACNC Private Ancillary Fund Privacy Opt-in Extended to 30 June 2014

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

Under the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012, certain information must be published by the Commissioner on the ACNC Register for the public to view. This information includes the entity’s name, ABN, sub-type, governing rules, details of responsible entities, information statements, financial reports or any other information the Commissioner is authorised to collect. This… Continue Reading

ACNC and the Advancement of Religion

Posted in Compliance, General, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

Charities registered with the ACNC which solely pursue purposes for the advancement of religion must ensure that the correct corresponding “sub-type” of entity (i.e. advancement of religion) has been confirmed with the ACNC before 3 December 2013. In accordance with the Charities (Consequential Amendments & Transitional Provisions) Act 2013 from 1 January 2014 there will… Continue Reading

ACNC – Religious Institutions

Posted in Compliance, General, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

There may be some unforeseen tax consequences for religious institutions with the passing of the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Act 2012 (ACNC Act). Religious institutions (e.g. Dioceses, Parishes and Orders) are generally considered to be unincorporated associations in civil law.  An unincorporated association does not have a distinct legal status separate from its members. Because… Continue Reading

Impact of the Federal Budget on Australian Charities

Posted in Compliance, Governance, Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

Summary – The Federal budget which was delivered on 14 May 2013 contained the following announcements that relate particularly to charities and not-for-profit organisations:   Not-for-profit sector reforms — introducing a statutory definition of ‘charity’ Statutory definition of charity Revenue ($m) 2012/2013 2013/2014 2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017 Australian Taxation Office – * * * *   The Federal budget… Continue Reading

Draft Governance Standards and Financial Reporting Regulations Released

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

Summary – The Government has released the draft Governance Standards and Financial Reporting Regulations. Yesterday the Government released the draft Governance Standards and Financial Reporting Regulations (together, the Regulations) as part of the reforms to follow the newly operational Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC). The Consultation Paper on the Governance Standards can be accessed here; and the Draft… Continue Reading