Close to 5 500 double defaulter charities from across Australia have now lost their registration with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) for failing to complete their reporting for two consecutive years.

ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM, explained that after exhaustive inquiries the ACNC presumed many of these were inactive.

“We believe that many of these charities have not completed their reporting because they are no longer operating,” Ms Pascoe said.

“However, deliberately or otherwise, these charities have not completed their reporting dating back more than two years, and we have a duty to the public to ensure that only charities that meet their obligations maintain charity status.

“By revoking these charities, the public now has access to an accurate and up-to-date register of 54 000 active and transparent Australian charities.”

The clean-up of the Charity Register has resulted in the removal or revocation of close to 9 000 charities since the ACNC was established in December 2012.

Ms Pascoe also advised the public to check the legitimacy of charities before they donate.

“Some organisations call themselves charities but are not registered with the ACNC.

“The public should check before they donate and be wary of donating to charities that the ACNC has revoked but are still operating.

“Charities registered with the ACNC are more transparent about their activities and the public can access a lot of information about them, including their financial information, on the Charity Register.

“Charities registered with the ACNC are also required to meet minimum governance standards.”

Ms Pascoe said charities can regain their charity status by completing their overdue reporting.

“Charities that have had their status revoked for failing to report two years in a row but are still operating will have their application to re-register with the ACNC fast-tracked once they have lodged any overdue reports.