Religious Institutions

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

NunsThere 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 it has no separate legal status, an unincorporated religious institution will typically act through a trustee corporation for legal matters.  The trustee corporation does not generally take an active role in the conduct of the ministry except in its capacity as trustee of the Diocese, Parish or Order.

Typically, these trust corporations have obtained an Australian Business Number (ABN) and are endorsed for tax exemptions through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and were automatically registered as charities with the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC).Continue Reading ACNC – Religious Institutions