300 Churches Face Charity Chop
1 March 2016 at 9:40 am
More than 300 churches could lose their tax exempt status for failing to submit paperwork to the national charity regulator.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has released a list of more than 2,000 charities that are at risk of losing their charity registration if they don’t submit their overdue annual reports immediately.
On the list are 307 organisations that identify themselves as churches.
New South Wales will potentially lose the most charities, with 719 organisations facing revocation, followed by Victoria, which could lose up to 465 charities.
Queensland could potentially lose 317 charities, Western Australia could lose 259 charities, South Australia could lose 215 and the ACT could lose 56.
Tasmania and the Northern Territory could lose 70 and 39 charities respectively.
ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM, said the charities were known as “double defaulters” because they had failed to submit two Annual Information Statements.
Pascoe said that the majority of charities had completed their reporting on time.
“The Australian public can be assured that the majority of registered charities are transparent and meet their ACNC obligations,” Pascoe said.
“However, there is an identified group of charities that have failed to meet their legal obligations despite being issued with multiple reminders and warnings.”
Pascoe urged the double defaulter charities to take action and submit their outstanding reports immediately.
“Charities that have become double defaulters must submit their two overdue Annual Information Statements to avoid revocation,” she said.
“Revocation of charity status is serious and will result in the charity being de-registered by the ACNC and losing access to Commonwealth charity tax concessions, which are administered by the Australian Taxation Office.”
Pascoe also highlighted the importance of submitting the overdue statements to ensure charity listings on the ACNC Charity Register were accurate and up to date.
“An accurate and up-to-date profile on the ACNC Charity Register demonstrates to the public a commitment to accountability and transparency. This also provides donors and grant-makers confidence that the charity is well-governed with good financial management,” she said.
“Just as importantly, it also provides an insight into the excellent work that the charity is doing in the community.”
Since its establishment in December 2012, the ACNC has removed or revoked the registration of more than 13,000 organisations from the charity register.
“We have made significant progress in cleaning up the Charity Register over the past three years to ensure the public has access to a reliable resource.” Pascoe said.
“Revoking the registrations of charities that fail to meet their obligations is an important part of this process.
“Of course, we would prefer that all legitimate charities meet their obligations on time, and remain on the Charity Register to continue serving the Australian community. That is why we have taken many steps to remind them, before resorting to this final action.”
The full list of charities facing revocation can be found here.