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Charities & Not-For-Profits Law in Australia

Category Archives: General

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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

Privacy Act Amendments to Regulate Businesses and Government Agencies

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance

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… Continue Reading

ACNC Charity Portal Goes Live

Posted in Compliance, General

Yesterday 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… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance

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…. Continue Reading

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

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance

Charities 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… Continue Reading

CPA Guide helps ACNC Charity Compliance

Posted in Compliance, General

CPA 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… 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

Accommodation Bonds in Development Funds

Posted in Compliance, Fundraising, General, Liability & Risk

Summary – 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 for… Continue Reading

Statutory Definition of Charity Passed by Parliament

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance

In 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… Continue Reading

Statutory Definition of Charity Introduced to Parliament

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance

In our blog on 9 April 2013 we wrote that the Federal Government had released an exposure draft of the Charities Bill 2013 and Charities (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013 for consultation. On Wednesday 29 May 2013, almost three weeks after consultation on the Bill closed the Government introduced an amended version of… 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

Update: Local Councils, Church, Charities and Not-For-Profit Groups to vote on settlement proposal relating to failed investment bank, Lehman Brothers

Posted in General, Liability & Risk

Summary – Update:  Local Councils, Church, Charities and Not-For-Profit Groups who purchased complex financial products from Lehman Brothers are set to vote on a settlement proposal to get up to half their money back from liquidators of the failed investment bank. You may recall we posted a blog article in October 2012 titled “Lehman Brothers class action… Continue Reading

What is a Charity? Statutory Definition of Charity Released

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance

Summary – On 8 April the Federal Government released an exposure draft of the Charities Bill 2013 and Charities (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013 for consultation. The Government has released for comment a draft exposure of the Charities Bill 2013 which will introduce the long awaited statutory definition of “charity”. In Australia, there… Continue Reading

Not-For-Profit Sector Freedom to Advocate Bill Introduced to the Senate

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance

Summary – Not-For-Profit Sector Freedom to Advocate Bill Introduced to the Senate. On Wednesday 13 March 2013, Senator Penny Wong tabled the Not for Profit Sector Freedom to Advocate Bill in the Senate. The Bill invalidates gag clauses contained in past, present and future Commonwealth government contracts with Not-For-Profit organisations. The legislation is intended to… Continue Reading

AIS Details Released for Consultation

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance

Summary – Details regarding the 2013 transitional and 2014 ACNC Annual Information Statements have been released. Earlier this month we foreshadowed that the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) would release the proposed information to be included in the compulsory Annual Information Statement (AIS) under the ACNC Act. Regardless of size or purpose all charities… Continue Reading

Further Progress towards a National Regulatory Framework

Posted in Compliance, General, Governance

Summary – The ACT has followed the move by South Australia to sign up to the ACNC legislative framework.  Who will be next? It has been announced that the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will be signing up to the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission (ACNC) regulatory framework by making changes which will carve out the… Continue Reading