300 Charities on Verge of Being Revoked
7 August 2015 at 1:15 pm
Australia’s national charity regulator is turning to the public to help it contact over 300 missing Australian charities that are at risk of losing their status.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has so far had no luck getting in touch with the charities, despite attempting to do so as far back as December 2012.
The ACNC said over a two-and-a-half year period it had tried a number of times to contact the charities, with hundreds of letters returning unopened, emails bouncing back and phone numbers appearing to be disconnected.
ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe, said the charities had missed out on important notifications, increasing the risk that they will have their charity status revoked for not meeting their reporting obligations two years in a row.
Pascoe encouraged the public check the ACNC website to see if any charities they are associated with are listed.
“Many of these charities are likely still operating,” Pascoe said.
“However, they have not provided the ACNC with accurate and up-to-date contact details, meaning we have not been able to send them timely reminders to complete their outstanding Annual Information Statements.
“Charities that fail to submit an Annual Information Statement for two consecutive years face revocation, which removes their entitlements to Commonwealth charity tax concessions.
“In addition to submitting an Annual Information Statement, registered charities are also required to notify the ACNC when their details change.”
Pascoe said that holding accurate and up-to-date details about Australia’s charities was important for the public too.
“The Australian Taxation Office transferred the paper records of more than 56,000 charities to the ACNC in 2012,” she said.
“Since then we have focused on getting the information on to an online register, and verifying and updating this information, to ensure the public have access to an accurate and up-to-date register of charities – the ACNC Charity Register.
“To date, we have revoked or removed over 9,000 charities from the Charity Register, largely because they were no longer operating or had not met their reporting obligations for two consecutive years.
“If we are not able to contact these charities, we will move to revoke their charity status.”
Members of the public can search the list of registered charities the ACNC is trying to contact at acnc.gov.au/whereareyou.
Charities can update their contact information by visiting acnc.gov.au, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 13 ACNC (13 2262).