ACNC Shows Teeth, Puts Thousands of Charities on Notice
15 October 2015 at 8:36 am
Thousands of Australian charities have been warned that they could lose their status for failing to report to the national charity regulator.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) said that more than 8,000 would soon be at risk of revocation if they did not submit overdue reporting.
ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe, said that charities already had a red-mark on their Charity Register listing to indicate to the public that they had not met their reporting obligations.
“Thousands of charities are nearly a year overdue with their 2014 Annual Information Statement," Pascoe said.
“If these charities miss the deadline for submitting the 2015 Annual Information Statement, which is now fast approaching, they will lose their charity status.
“The ACNC takes a firm but fair approach to compliance, but will not tolerate persistent failure to meet obligations.”
The ACNC said it also intends to revoke the status of a further 200 charities that it believes are no longer operating.
Pascoe said despite multiple attempts, the ACNC had not been able to reach the charities during its nearly three years of operation.
She said revocation was necessary in order to maintain the integrity of the Charity Register – Australia's first searchable, online database of Australia's registered charities.
“We have made multiple attempts over the years to contact these charities and we have now concluded that they are inactive or no longer operating," she said.
“We are continuously reviewing the data on the Charity Register, which is available free of charge at acnc.gov.au/findacharity, to ensure members of the public have access to accurate and up-to-date information.
"Members of the public expect that only charities that are active and compliant with their obligations remain registered with the ACNC.
“This group of charities must contact the ACNC before 11 November 2015 to maintain their registration.”
Registration with the ACNC is required to access a number of government charity tax concessions, including income tax exemption, fringe benefit rebates and GST rebates. Some deductible gift recipient (DGR) categories also require charities to be registered with the ACNC to receive DGR status.
Since it was set up in 2012 the ACNC has revoked the status of around 9,000 charities, including 12 which lost their status following investigations into their operations by the charity regulator.