As we’re moving closer to the end of the year, and with it being almost 12 months since the ACNC opened for business, I thought now would be a good time to provide an update on what is happening on the charities front and issue a few last minute reminders:

Religious Organisations Opt In

Prior to the establishment of the ACNC, religious organisations that chose to self- assess as income tax exempt did not need to be formally ‘endorsed’ by the ATO as income tax exempt.  This means that although self-assessed income tax exempt religious organisations were able to continue to benefit from being recognised as income tax exempt they were not automatically registered with the ACNC as a charity.  After the 2nd of December 2013, (due to a change in ATO rules disallowing religious organisations to self- assess as income tax exempt) if a religious organisation wishes to continue to be eligible for tax concessions, such as income tax exemption or for fringe benefits tax rebate, that religious organisation must ‘opt in’ by formally registering with the ACNC as a charity.

2013 Annual Information Statement

If a registered charity operates on a financial year ending 30 June, then that charity must complete and lodge its 2013 Annual Information Statement with the ACNC no later than 31 December 2013.  An Annual Information Statement is the only reporting obligation for the 2013 reporting period.  The statement requires registered charities to provide non-financial information about their operations for the 2013 reporting period.

For those registered charities whose financial year ends 31 December, the lodgement date for the Annual Information Statement is any date between 1 January 2014 and 30 June 2014.

ACNC Portal

On 6th November 2013, the ACNC launched its new online portal which is designed to reduce the amount of paperwork required and streamline the process of completing and lodging documents (such as notifications of a change to contact details, changes to responsible persons, uploading any governing document, lodging the Annual Information Statement and printing a copy of your charity certificate)..  All registered charities should have received a letter by now from the ACNC outlining their individual login details.  If you believe you are registered with the ACNC but have not yet received your letter it would be wise to contact them and check your registration details.

For further information, please contact the author.

This article is posted in Adelaide, South Australia by Tri-meridian Corporate & Commercial Law and is intended to be used as a guide only. It is not, and is not intended to be, advice on any specific matter. We do not accept responsibility for any acts or omissions resulting from reliance upon the content of this article. Before acting on the basis of any material in this article, we recommend that you consult your professional adviser.