The Private Ancillary Fund and Public Ancillary Fund Amendment Guidelines 2015 (amending guidelines) propose to amend the currentPrivate Ancillary Fund Guidelines 2009 and the Public Ancillary Fund Guidelines 2011 (together, the Guidelines), with the changes to apply from 1 July 2016. The Guidelines set minimum standards for the governance and conduct of ancillary funds and their trustees, breach of which can result in a revocation of charitable and/or concessional tax status. Therefore, trustees of ancillary funds need to familiarise themselves with these changes.
The Federal Court has dismissed an appeal by Study and Prevention of Psychological Diseases Foundation (SPED) against an earlier finding of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal confirming a decision of the Commissioner of Taxation to revoke SPED’s endorsement for federal tax concessions as a health promotion charity.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) has revoked the charitable status of 169 organisations for failing to comply with their reporting obligations for two or more consecutive years. This means that these organisations will lose access to all Commonwealth tax concessions, such as exemption from income tax, to which they were previously entitled.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and the Australian Business Register (ABR) have signed an agreement to transfer information between the ABR and the Charities Register. This means there will now be continuous data sharing between the registers and inconsistencies between them will be reduced.
Charities have been invited to comment on the exposure draft of the “Commissioner’s Interpretation Statement on Withholding or Removing Commercially Sensitive Information from the ACNC Register” (Exposure Draft).
On the 11th of September 2015, the Queensland based organisation Adult Stem Cell Foundation Australia Limited (ASCFAL) had its charity registration revoked by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) after a review into its operations and activities was conducted by the ACNC. This means it will no longer be eligible for charity tax concessions, such as exemption from income taxes, deductible gift recipient status and fringe benefits tax concessions.
Thousands of charities are being contacted by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) due to significant errors in their financial reporting. The ACNC have highlighted that significant errors have been located in many charities’ 2014 Annual Information Statements or Annual Financial Reports.
The deadline for lodging your Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) registered charity’s Annual Information Statement (AIS) is 30 June, unless you have applied to the ACNC to have a different reporting period. If charities fail to submit their AIS for two consecutive years, they will have their charity status revoked.
The transitional period for trustees of public ancillary funds to amend their fund’s governing rules to comply with the public ancillary fund guidelines closes on 1 July 2015. Public ancillary funds and their trustees must comply with these guidelines if the funds are to remain endorsed as deductible gift recipients.
As well as the fund losing entitlement to DGR endorsement, failure to comply with the guidelines could lead to the trustee incurring administrative penalties.
In budget papers released on 12 May the Federal Government has confirmed funding to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) will continue until 2019. However, the charity regulator will see a modest reduction in its funding from $14.8 million in the next financial year to $13.2 million in 2018-19.