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Not For Profit

Is your charity in breach of the Charities Act?

Is your charity in breach of the Charities Act?

The looming federal election provides those of you managing or involved in a charity with a useful opportunity to consider the types of activities that can be undertaken without engaging in a “disqualifying purpose” under the Charities Act 2013 (Cth) (Act).

A team effort: Establishing and communicating good policy at your sporting club

A team effort: Establishing and communicating good policy at your sporting club

Incorporated sporting clubs and associations have distinct obligations to fulfil as a legal entity. Committee members, directors, coaches and volunteers each have a role to play in the team and it is vital that all involved understand the different policies that are applicable to the club and its members. Here are just two policy considerations for ensuring “good play” in your local sporting organisation.

Amendments to Private and Public Ancillary Fund Guidelines

Amendments to Private and Public Ancillary Fund Guidelines

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.

Shane Warne Foundation under investigation

Shane Warne Foundation under investigation

The financial practices of The Shane Warne Foundation are under investigation by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

The Foundation is listed on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission register as a public ancillary fund that is a deductible gift recipient entitled to GST and FBT concessions and is exempt from income tax. Established in 2003, the Foundation has the charity subtype of advancing social or public welfare, lists its beneficiaries as youth with chronic illness and disabilities. It has revenue of $250,000 to $999,999 per year putting it in the medium sized charity category.

ACNC revokes charitable status of 169 organisations

ACNC revokes charitable status of 169 organisations

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.

Good news for charities – ABR and ACNC to data share

Good news for charities – ABR and ACNC to data share

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.

Due date for lodgement of Annual Information Statements is fast approaching

Due date for lodgement of Annual Information Statements is fast approaching

The ACNC has reminded charities that the due date of 31 January 2016 for Annual Information Statements to be lodged is fast approaching.

The ACNC is encouraging charities with a reporting period of the 1 July – 30 June to begin submitting their 2015 statements now. 

Charities that fail submit their statements for two consecutive years face deregistration and loss of taxation concessions. Further guidance as to reporting obligations can be found alongside the statement submission portal at this link: http://www.acnc.gov.au/2015AIS

For assistance in ensuring that your charity is meeting it’s reporting obligations please contact:

Ashleigh Wall
Senior Associate
T: 03 5226 8559
E:awall@harwoodandrews.com.au

Dianne Sisak Penjalov
Senior Associate
T: 03 5226 8582
E: diannes@harwoodandrews.com.au

Ella Vines
Lawyer
T: 03 5225 5216
E: evines@harwoodandrews.com.au

Charity has status revoked by ACNC

Charity has status revoked by ACNC

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.

Charities financial reports show significant errors

Charities financial reports show significant errors

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.

 Charities must ensure contact details are current

Charities must ensure contact details are current

More than 300 charities are at risk of losing their charity status because they have failed to provide up-to-date contact details to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). All charities on the ACNC register are required to notify the ACNC of changes to their organisation.

5,000 ACNC Charities receive a ‘red mark’ for failing to submit reporting

5,000 ACNC Charities receive a ‘red mark’ for failing to submit reporting

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has given a ‘red mark’ to more than 5,000 charities that have failed to submit their 2014 Annual Information Statements (AIS) due for most charities in January 2015. The red mark appears as an exclamation alert on the charity’s listing on the charity register.

Good news for corporate volunteers

Good news for corporate volunteers

Volunteering Australia, the national peak body for volunteering, has released a new definition of volunteering after a 2 year review. The new definition is ‘time willingly given for the common good without financial gain’.

ACNC CHARITIES - LODGE YOUR AIS PRIOR TO 30 JUNE

ACNC CHARITIES - LODGE YOUR AIS PRIOR TO 30 JUNE

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.

Doing good is good business

Doing good is good business

Whilst not a conventional topic for a lawyer’s article, I thought I would use this article as an opportunity to share Harwood Andrews’ recent certification as a B Corp and hopefully encourage other businesses in the Geelong and the Surf Coast region to do the same. 

1 July deadline for public ancillary funds to comply with guidelines draws near

1 July deadline for public ancillary funds to comply with guidelines draws near

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.