5 500 charities lose registration

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.

Insolvency issues for directors of not-for-profit companies

The recent liquidation of a large college in Victoria which displaced over 1200 students, is a reminder to directors of not for profit (NFP) organisations of their duties. Even though directors in this sector are sometimes ‘well meaning amateurs,’ they play an important function and carry the burdens and responsibilities that accompany the office of a director.

In the current economic climate, NFPs face increasing demand for their services and a decreasing supply of funds from corporates and individual donors. They and their directors may face difficult times. In this context, the governance and accountability of the NFP board are significant issues that are worth revisiting.

Please read this excellent article from Cleardocs if you are on the board of a not-for-profit organisation to refresh your understanding of the responsibilities and risks of holding such a position

Bill introduced: instant asset write-off, simplified depreciation, and superannuation

The Tax Laws Amendment (Stronger, Fairer, Simpler and Other Measures) Bill 2011 has been introduced in the House of Representatives. It includes the following amendments:

  • increase the small business instant asset write-off threshold from $1000 to $6500, and consolidate the long-life small business pool and the general small business pool into a single pool to be written off at one rate of 30 per cent
  • allow small business entities (annual turnover less than $2 million) to claim an accelerated initial deduction for motor vehicles acquired in the 2012–13 and subsequent income years. Purchase of a motor vehicle costing $6500 or more from the 2012–13 year will be able to be immediately written off up to $5000
  • amend the Superannuation (Government Co-Contribution for Low Income Earners) Act 2003 to provide for a maximum $500 low-income superannuation contribution
  • repeal the 25 per cent entrepreneurs’ tax offset