Sunday June 2014


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 appealing for the ACNC to continue. The dissenting reports noted that the ACNC is preferable to returning to the previous regime of regulation by the ATO and ASIC.

The No 1 Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on 19 March and now will return to the House of Representatives where it is likely to be passed by the lower house. Part 1 of the Bill contains the necessary provisions to repeal the ACNC and Part 2 provides for transitional arrangements, importantly, allowing for the Minister to specify a successor agency.

If passed, the Bill won’t come into operation until the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (Repeal) Bill (No 2) (which has not yet been introduced) is successfully passed.


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https://www.charitiesnfplaw.com.au/files/2014/06/Detective-with-magnifying-glass.jpg

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 ACNC. If these charities do not contact the ACNC, the ACNC will commence the process of revoking their registration as charities. If a charity’s registration with the ACNC is revoked it will not be entitled to charity tax concessions from the ATO.


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The Hunger ProjectEarlier 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

York CathedralLast week, a NSW Supreme Court decision was handed down regarding the fate of a parcel of land on which a church building stands.  The findings of Lindsay J in this case serve as a timely reminder of the obligations and duties of trustees who hold property in their names, in this context, on behalf of a church body.

Facts of the Case

While some of facts of the case were contentious, the findings from Lindsay J paint a straightforward picture of the events that had occurred:

  • In 1978, five men, being members of a small congregation of Christians who worshipped under the name “The Apostolic Christian Church Nazarene-Sydney” (Church), purchased a property in Arncliffe, NSW (Land) for the purposes of enabling the congregation to worship and pray there.
  • While the Land was purchased in their five individual names, there was no doubt that the Land was purchased and used only for the advancement of religion.  The Judge was satisfied that the five individuals intended to hold the Land as trustees for the Church.
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