ACNC Regulator? What Now?
Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 8:56 am
Although the title of the ACNC legislation extends to charities and Not for Profits, at this stage the regulator only covers ‘charities’, says Sydney-based law firm Makinson & d'Apice.
The legal experts say there is the possibility for Not for Profits (who are not charities) being regulated under the ACNC Acts at a later stage.
It says until a statutory definition of charity has been finalised (with a briefing paper expected early in 2013 and the definition likely to take effect on July 1, 2013) a ‘charity’ will be understood to encompass organisations for: the relief of poverty, advancement of education, advancement of religion and other purposes beneficial to the community (including childcare, self-help and contemplative orders).
“In other words, the existing common law interpretation of what constitutes a charity will continue to apply until 1 July 2013,” Makinson & d'Apice Partner Bill d’Apice said.
“Registration with the ACNC is voluntary. If your charity has been automatically registered you have 6 months to opt-out. However, registration will be a necessary prerequisite for charities to access Commonwealth tax concessions and other concessions, exemptions and benefits."
The law firm says there are a number of steps its recommends for charities wanting to be registered:
- Check that your organisation has been automatically registered;
- Check that the correct registration sub-type has been applied;
- Confirm whether basic religious charity status should be applied;
- Apply for a substituted accounting period (if you do not wish to report in accordance with the financial year);
- Apply for registration, if your organisation has been self assessing (e.g. religious institutions);
- Familiarise yourself with your new obligations such as the duty to notify the ACNC of changes and the new obligations on directors; and
- Check your operational and financial records are in order as these may be checked at any time
More information is available on the ACNC website or call13 ACNC.