ACNCSummary – The Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) legislation has received royal assent and the ACNC has commenced operation.

Today the Governor General assented to the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission Act 2012 and the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (Consequential and Transitional) Act 2012 (ACNC Acts).

Who is regulated by the legislation?

Although the title of the legislation extends to charities and Not-For-Profits, at this stage the ACNC Acts only cover “charities”, with the possibility for Not-For-Profits (who are not charities) being regulated under the ACNC Acts at a later stage.


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Lehman Brothers sign being taken awaySummary – Federal Court rules Lehman Brothers Australia is financially liable for misleading clients including Church and Not-For-Profit Groups to purchase complex financial products.

In Wingecarribee Shire Council v Lehman Brothers Australia Ltd (in Liq) [2012] FCA 1028, the Federal Court of Australia has held that Lehman Bros Australia Ltd (In Liq), which was formerly called Grange Securities Ltd (Grange), is liable to compensate the 3 plaintiff Councils for losses incurred as a result of investing in highly complex investment products called collateralised debt obligations (products).

In this matter the 3 Councils led representative proceedings or a ‘class action’ on behalf of 72 other Councils, charities, Church and Not-For-Profit groups who collectively lost over $200million when the products purchased from Grange prior to 2008 either plummeted in value or were completely wiped out during the global financial crisis (GFC).  While only the claims of the 3 Councils were tested by the Court in these proceedings, as these are representative proceedings the Court can resolve issues of fact and law involving the representative applicants and the respondent that are common to claims that other group members have against the same respondent. 


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ACNC

Summary – The House Standing Committee on Economics has presented its Report on the Exposure Draft of the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission Exposure Draft Bills.

On 15 August 2012, after completing its Inquiry, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics issued its report entitled “Report on the Exposure Draft of the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission Bills 2012”.

Subject to other recommendations in its report, the Committee recommended that the House of Representatives pass the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Bill 2012 (ACNC Bill) and the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (Consequential and Transitional) Bill 2012.


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ACNC

Summary – The draft Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) Bill has been released.

The Assistant Treasurer, the Hon David Bradbury MP, has referred the draft ACNC legislation to the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Economics for an inquiry.

The Minister released the Exposure Draft of the legislation and explanatory materials on 6 July 2012.

The House Standing Committee on Economics has now invited interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by Friday, 20 July 2012.


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Australian notesSummary – The High Court handed down its decision in Commissioner of Taxation v Bargwanna on 29 March 2012 ruling that trust funds in a charitable trust must be applied for the purpose of the charitable trust, and not just “substantially” or “on the whole”.

On 29 March, the High Court handed down its decision in the long running case of Commissioner of Taxation v Bargwanna allowing the appeal by the Commissioner of Taxation.

Mr and Mrs Bargwanna were the trustees of the “Kalos Metron Charitable Trust”.  Between 2003 and 2007, the trustees distributed a total of $293,914.55 to numerous charitable cases.


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Summary – The Assistant Treasurer has issued a further Exposure Draft on proposed legislation restating and standardizing special conditions for tax concession charities including Map of Australiathe “In Australia” conditions.

The Assistant Treasurer has now released a further Exposure Draft of legislation restating and standardising special conditions for tax concession entities and, in particular, refining the “In Australia” special conditions.

Under the current law, tax concession charities and deductible gift recipients have different requirements concerning their obligations to operate “In Australia” to access tax concessions.


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Speaker at ConferenceSummary – Bill d’Apice and Kylie Maxwell presented to the NSW State Legal Conference on NFP structures and the reform agenda for charities and NFPs on 27 March 2012.

Bill d’Apice and Kylie Maxwell both gave presentations to many lawyers and sector representatives at the request of organisers of the NSW State Legal Conference. They addressed current issues affecting Charities and Not-For-Profits in relation to entity structures, public juridical persons, changes to the laws affecting Public Ancillary Funds, the proposed unrelated business income tax, proposals concerning “In Australia” requirements for certain entities and possible changes to governance requirements with the upcoming Australian Charities & Not-For-Profits Commission.


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Kylie Maxwell presenting at the Netball NSW 2012 ConferenceSummary – Makinson & d’Apice Lawyers presented at the 4th Biennial Netball NSW Conference.

On the sunny morning of Saturday, 25 February 2012, Kylie Maxwell and I gave presentations to attendees of the 4th Biennial Netball NSW Conference at Sydney Olympic Park.  The Conference was organised by Netball NSW and we were honoured to

SUMMARY The New Zealand Charities Commission is to be disestablished due to a duplication of government functions, while Australia is setting up its Australian Charities & Not-For-Profits Commission.

Charities and Not-For-Profit organisations in Australia will be interested to know that while the Federal Government is setting up the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (which is

The Federal Government has been working on the reform of the Charities and Not-For-Profit sector arduously before the Christmas break.

The Government has recently released 4 discussion papers and drafts for comment and passed legislation on issues affecting Not-For-Profit organisations and Charities.

In particular, the Government has released: