Fitzgerald to Guide NFP Reforms
Friday, 27th May 2011 at 5:36 pm
Productivity Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald will chair the advisory board assisting the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC), Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten has announced.
Making the announcement during his speech at the National Press Club, Shorten says Fitzgerald’s background as a Productivity Commissioner and his extensive experience in the Not for Profit sector make him the ideal candidate to guide the reforms.
Fitzgerald has a diverse background and extensive experience in commerce, law, public policy and community services. Fitzgerald has extensive experience working with the Not for Profit sector – he is currently a Director of The Benevolent Society and Foyer Foundation, and has previously been President of the Australian Council of Social Services, Chair of the National Roundtable of Nonprofit Organisations and State President of St Vincent de Paul (NSW) among many others.
An implementation Taskforce for the ACNC will start work on 1 July 2011 to ensure the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission is ready for operation by 1 July 2012.
From 1 July 2012, the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission will initially be responsible for determining charitable, public benevolent institution, and other NFP status for all Commonwealth purposes; providing education and support to the sector; implementing a 'report-once use-often' general reporting framework for charities; and establishing a public information portal by 1 July 2013.
The Implementation Taskforce will also engage with state agencies to negotiate use of the portal as a 'one stop shop' for reporting to state agencies.
Discussion Paper on Tax Concession Released
Bill Shorten also used his address at the National Press Club to release a discussion paper – Better targeting of Not for Profit tax concessions – which seeks public views on how implement better targeting of NFP tax concessions for unrelated commercial entities, which was part of the 2011-12 Federal Budget.
Shorten says that be better targeting tax concessions in the NFP sector, the Government is encouraging charities to direct profits generated by unrelated commercial activities back to their charity’s altruistic purposes.
Shorten says the reforms to NFP tax concessions will not affect the use of tax concessions that support a charity's related commercial activities.
He says the reforms will also not affect NFP entities carrying on small-scale or low-risk activities such as lamington drive fundraisers, school fetes and leasing out of church halls, or the principle of mutuality and, therefore, the tax treatment of clubs.
Shorten announced that John Emerson, a private sector expert in the tax laws applicable to charities, has agreed to provide the Government with advice on these reforms.
Consultation about the reforms to tax concessions is open for six weeks, closing Friday, 8 July 2011, and further information can be found at http://www.treasury.gov.au