The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has released its submission to the government review of the ACNC legislation. The Commission made a number of recommendations to be considered by the review panel, including:

  1. Whether measures could be introduced at the Commonwealth level to protect a charity’s accumulated charitable income and assets after its ACNC registration has been revoked.
  2. Whether a statutory definition of “not-for-profit” should be introduced for the purposes of the ACNC Act and the Charities Act.
  3. Consider whether the ACNC Act should be amended to require registered charities, other than trusts and BRCs (Basic Religious Charities), to have a minimum number of 3 responsible persons, and at least two responsible persons who ordinarily reside in Australia, with the Commissioner having the power to exempt entities should there be special circumstances where different governance arrangements are appropriate.
  4. Consider whether registered charities should be able to self-assess their size for reporting purposes.
  5. Amend s40-5 of the ACNC Act to provide that the ACNC Register is to include the grounds under s35-10(1) on which a decision to revoke a charity is based, and a summary of the reasons for revocation.
  6. Amend Subdiv 150-C of the ACNC Act – so ‘Authorised Disclosures‘ under the ACNC Act – would include a provision that expressly authorises ACNC officers to disclose protected ACNC information in bulk to an Australian government agency if the disclosure is reasonably necessary to, among other things, enable data-matching.
  7. Consider options for addressing the issues arising from the inability to check the names of current directors and company secretaries of charitable companies by searching the ASIC register.

In December 2017, the Government announced the terms of reference for the legislated 5-year review of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Consequential and Transitional) Act 2012, both of which commenced operation in December 2012. Submissions are due by 28 February 2018. See related Tax Month article.

23 January 2018

[ACNC website: submission; LTN 14, 22/1/18; Tax Month January 2018]

Study questions (*answers below)

  1. Does ACNC stand for ‘Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’?
  2. Did the ACNC make a submission the the Government, about itself?
  3. Is there currently statutory protection, to prevent a Charities’ assets, being distributed to members, after the entity ceases to be registered with the ACNC?
  4. Does the recommendation, to have a minimum of 3 responsible persons, have a ‘carve-out’ for trusts and basic religious charities?
  5. Does the ACNC Act currently require that the grounds and reasons, for the revocation an entity’s registration, as a charity, be disclosed on the ACNC register?

[*answers:1.yes;2.yes;3.no;4.yes;5.no]

About the author