Application Form Updated as Charities Act Takes Effect
9 January 2014 at 11:31 am
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has released an updated online application form for registering as a charity to reflect new charity legislation.
Parliament passed the Charities Act in June 2013 and it came into effect on January 1.
It sets out the meaning of “charity” for all Commonwealth purposes and gives it a statutory definition – which means one that is recognised by law.
A proposal to delay its implementation to allow for further consultation was debated during the last sitting days of the year.
Previously, Australia’s tax and legal systems relied on common law to establish what activities and goals were considered charitable, which in turn entitled organisations that were engaged in them to tax concession.
Under the new Act, reconciliation, human rights, culture, the environment and more are specifically mentioned in the list of charitable purposes.
The law on charities and native title is also clarified, and the idea that modern organisations may advance causes through education, research, awareness-raising and prevention is recognised.
In addition, the Act protects charities’ rights to advocate for policy and lobby on behalf of the groups they benefit.
The ACNC says it has been working to update the online form available to organisations wishing to register as charities, and it will be available from tomorrow (Friday, January 10).
“People who think their organisations may be eligible for charitable status and the tax concessions that go with it can again apply online,” ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM said.
“The ACNC has updated the categories, as well as preparing guidance on the new definition of charity to assist those beginning an application, or those wanting to better understand the new Charities Act.
“The form will be available from Friday the 10th of January, and it is in line with the changes that have occurred due to the Charities Act.”
The updated form will be available online at www.acnc.gov.au/register, alongside detailed information on what makes an organisation eligible for registration as a charity.
The ACNC’s Advice Team can answer inquiries regarding the new form and the Charities Act, and can be contacted between 9am and 6pm AEST, Monday to Friday on 13 22 62 or firstname.lastname@example.org.