Businesses including Not-for-Profit entities should review their privacy policies and procedures to ensure that they comply with the new Australian privacy principles before they commence on 14 March 2014.

The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 is the most significant privacy reform since the Privacy Act was introduced over 25 years ago. The new privacy principles will regulate the handling of personal information by businesses and Australian government agencies.

Continue Reading Privacy Act Amendments to Regulate Businesses and Government Agencies

ACNCYesterday the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) launched the new charity portal.

The ACNC charity portal is an online service where you can:

  • access and update your charity’s details immediately on the ACNC Register
  • submit your Annual Information Statement onto the Register
  • print a copy of your charity’s registration certificate.

It is only available to registered charities and is password protected.

Continue Reading ACNC Charity Portal Goes Live

Tony Abbott

Following the Coalition’s election win in September, the Government has continued its rhetoric that it will dismantle the Australian Charities and Not For Profits Commission (ACNC) and move all regulatory functions to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

With the ACNC still in its infancy, this has brought great uncertainty to the NFP and charity sectors. Minister Andrews indicated in mid-October that the Government would begin consultations with the sector to discuss the Government’s transition plans, with any implementation unlikely to be in place before the end of 2014.

On balance, it is our view that the ACNC is likely to survive due to the complexity in unwinding the legislation connected with it and the political uncertainty around passing the necessary amendments.  In our view it is likely that some of the current, and what some in the sector would consider more onerous, obligations upon charities administered by the ACNC may be relaxed where legislative approval is not required or can be negotiated.

Continue Reading New Government Brings Uncertainty to the Not-For-Profit and Charity Sector

Completing formCharities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) are required to submit an Annual Information Statement (AIS) each year.

To make AIS reporting easier for organisations such as a corporate trustee administrating multiple trusts, or an administrative office for multiple religious charities,  the ACNC released form 4C Annual Information Statement – Bulk Lodgement yesterday.

Continue Reading Are you eligible to Bulk Lodge your Annual Information Statement with the ACNC?

CPACPA Australia has just released a new guide “Charities – A guide to financial reporting and assurance requirements” to assist charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) to understand and comply with their various reporting obligations.

This resource is the first of its kind and sets out in plain English the range of reporting obligations imposed by the ACNC and how those obligations apply for different types of entities.

Continue Reading CPA Guide helps ACNC Charity Compliance

GavelOn 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 refused endorsement on the basis that Home Health is not an ‘institution’.

The Tribunal considered the elements of recognising a ‘public benevolent institution’ as set out in Perpetual Trustee Co Ltd v Federal Commissioner of Taxation [1931] HCA 20. Perhaps self-explanatory, but significant nonetheless, a public benevolent institution must be: (i) public, (ii) benevolent and (iii) an institution.

Home Health satisfied the “public” requirement as the relief provided by the organisation was directed to a sufficiently large sector of the community.

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

ACNCUnder 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 is very broad and in some circumstances charities may wish to apply for the information to be withheld from the ACNC Register. The Commissioner may withhold information if it is commercially sensitive or has the potential to cause detriment to the registered charity or an individual. We recommend all charities registered with the ACNC consider whether certain information should be withheld from the ACNC Register.

The scope for withholding information from the ACNC Register was widened by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation 2013. Amongst other things, the Regulation offered additional privacy protections for Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) registered as charities with the ACNC. Typically, these protections were introduced in order to protect the identity of individual philanthropists or donors and to prevent an unreasonable burden being placed on PAFs whereby they might be inundated with donation requests from other entities.

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

ACNCCharities 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 be 14 possible sub-types of charity:

  1. Advancing Health;
  2. Advancing Education;
  3. Advancing Social or Public Welfare;
  4. Advancing Religion;
  5. Advancing Culture;
  6. Promoting Reconciliation, Mutual Respect and Tolerance between Groups of Individuals that are in Australia;
  7. Promoting or Protecting Human Rights;
  8. Advancing the Security or Safety of Australia or the Australian Public;
  9. Preventing or Relieving the Suffering of Animals;
  10. Advancing the Natural Environment;
  11. Purposes Beneficial to the General Public and Analogous to the Other Charitable Purposes;
  12. Advancing Public Debate;
  13. Institution whose Principal Activity is to promote the Prevention or the Control of Diseases in Human Beings; and
  14. Public Benevolent Institution.

Continue Reading ACNC and the Advancement of Religion

Senior woman with caregiverSummary – Aged Care operators can place accommodation bonds in Development Funds.

When the Federal Government amended the prudential requirements for the investment of accommodation bonds in residential aged care facilities subject to the Aged Care Act in 2011, there was some doubt as to whether Catholic aged care operators could legitimately place accommodation bonds

CharityIn our blog on 3 June 2013 we wrote that the Federal Government had introduced the Charities Bill 2013 and Charities (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013 into Parliament.

On 27 June 2013 only 1 day before Parliament rose and despite resistance from the opposition, the Bills passed unamended and are scheduled to commence