Silent Charities Lose Status
13 November 2015 at 1:30 pm
The national charity regulator has revoked the charity status of 169 organisations that are assumed to be inactive.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) issued a notice of revocation to the charities after they failed to report to the regulator for two years.
ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe, said it was likely the charities were no longer operating.
“Over the past three years of operation we’ve tried to reach these charities multiple times but letters have been returned unopened, emails have bounced back and our phone calls have found disconnected numbers,” Pascoe said.
“These charities have also failed to complete their 2013 and 2014 Annual Information Statements. This is despite the overwhelmingly majority of charities having completed both Statements.”
Pascoe said most charities understood the importance of reporting to the ACNC.
“99 per cent or nearly 50,000 charities have completed their 2013 Annual Information Statement. 83 per cent have completed their 2014 Annual Information Statement and we are working with struggling charities to ensure they get their reports in,” she said.
“Most charities already collect the information we ask for in the Annual Information Statement, often for their members, funders or to include in their annual reports.”
Pascoe said the ACNC was committed to maintaining an up-to-date register of Australia’s registered charities and that revoking the charities was part of that process.
“The ACNC Charity Register is Australia’s free, searchable, online database of registered charities and we are continuously reviewing the charities and data on it so that members of the public have access to accurate and up-to-date information,” she said.
"Members of the public expect that only charities that are active and compliant with their obligations remain on it.”
Pascoe said the charities would lose access to all Commonwealth charity tax concessions they were previously entitled to.
“Only charities registered with the ACNC can receive charity tax concessions from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO),” she said.
“ACNC registration is required to access a number of Commonwealth charity tax concessions, including income tax exemption, fringe benefit rebates/exemption and GST rebates.
“Some deductible gift recipient (DGR) categories require charities to be registered with the ACNC to receive DGR status.
“We will notify the ATO of these revocations.”