The Charities Act 2013 defines “charity” and “charitable purpose” for the purposes of all Commonwealth legislation, including taxation legislation.

The Government amendments made by the House of Reps on Wed 4.12.2013 to the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 introduced new provisions to the Bill that would delay the commencement of the Charities Act 2013 by 9 months, from 1 January 2014 to 1 September 2014. The Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews said the Government has committed to consulting with the charities sector on abolishing the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and establishing a centre for excellence and a possible national register of charities. “The delay [in the commencement of the Charities Act 2013] will mean we can work holistically with civil society, consulting a range of stakeholders, including charity law specialists who provide advice to the sector”, he said.

The Bill has been referred to several Senate committees for inquiry and report by 12 December 2013. It contains amendments concerning, for example, FTB and also the income test treatment of account-based superannuation income streams.

[LTN 236, 5/12/13]

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