ACNC Investigates Wrongly Identified Charities
23 February 2016 at 9:34 am
The national charity regulator has launched a project to contact Not for Profits that have wrongly been assessing themselves as Basic Religious Charities.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) said as many as 460 charities had been wrongly assessing their status which allowed them to avoid submitting annual financial reports.
“Based on our analysis, we believe that these charities have incorrectly classified themselves as ‘Basic Religious Charities’ in their 2014 Annual Information Statements and we are now asking them to review their information,” a spokesperson for the ACNC said.
A Basic Religious Charity is a particular kind of ACNC charity, and to be considered one, a charity must meet several criteria.
“Charities that are not considered Basic Religious Charities will need to provide financial information as part of their Annual Information Statements according to their size,” the spokesperson said.
“However, in instances of persistent refusal to comply with requirements, we would look at a range of available options which may include compliance action, de-registration, or penalties.
“The requirements are slightly different for small, medium and large charities. These charities will also need to comply with the ACNC governance standards.”
ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM said it was a legal requirement that charities provided correct information as part of their Annual Information Statements and that the charity regulator was “working closely with the charities involved to ensure their errors are corrected”.
“We are also working closely with religious representative peak bodies and councils so the charities are aware of the errors and the requirement to correct them,” Pascoe said.
“Our experience has been largely positive when working with charities to correct any reporting errors and we expect a similar outcome in this case.”