Charity Financials Publicly Available Online
25 November 2014 at 10:44 am
The financial details of Australia’s registered charities are, for the first time, available to the public free of charge via the national charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
As part of the 2014 Annual Information Statement, all charities except for Basic Religious Charities and those registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) are required to provide financial information to the ACNC.
The ACNC says as part of the 2013 Annual Information Statement, over 8,000 registered charities have provided financial information voluntarily. And the ACNC has again warned that penalties such as fines, or even revocation of their charity status, will be applied to charities that deliberately fail to provide their financial information.
“The 2014 Annual Information Statement marks the first time all Australian charities will be required to report financial information to a single, national, regulator of charities,” ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM said.
“And just as importantly, it is the first time that this information will be made available to the public in one place, free of charge.
“Financial statements, which are required for medium and large charities, and financial information that charities provide as part of their 2014 Annual Information Statement are published on the ACNC Charity Register at acnc.gov.au/findacharity.”
An estimated 35,000 charities report on a standard financial year (1 July to 30 June) and this group are required to submit their 2014 Annual Information Statement by 31 December.
The ACNC has begun contacting these charities to offer guidance and support. If charities using a standard financial year do not hear from the ACNC by early December, they’re encouraged to log into the Charity Portal (charity.acnc.gov.au) to check their contact details.
“Charities are able to submit their 2014 Annual Information Statement and financial reports online at charity.acnc.gov.au,” Pascoe said.
“Guidance and advice is available online, or through the phone and email service to assist charities.
“By reporting online, charities will benefit from having their 2013 information already pre-populated on the form. This will save charities significant time and effort.”
Pascoe also reminded those charities that have not submitted their 2013 Annual Information Statement that they will now have a statement on the Charity Register indicating that they have not met this requirement, and that they may face penalties in the future.
Penalties such as fines, or even revocation of their charity status, will be applied to charities that deliberately fail to comply, or that do not meet this obligation two years in a row.
“We have been contacting charities to remind them to submit their 2013 Annual Information Statement, which is a statutory obligation,” Pascoe said.
“For some charities, the 2013 Annual Information Statement is now 6 months overdue. These charities have received a ‘red mark’ against their listing on the ACNC Charity Register to indicate to members of the public and donors that they have not complied with their obligations.
“Charities that fail to submit successive Annual Information Statements will have their charity status revoked, jeopardising their access to Commonwealth charity tax concessions.”
Guidance is available at acnc.gov.au/2014AIS. Charities that need further assistance can call 13 ACNC (13 22 62) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.