Nick Miller and Simon Bowden talk about understanding the new
regulator (the ACNC), its power and responsibilities.
So Simon, in the charities and not-for-profits place there's
a lot of reform proposals on the agenda at the moment and a number
of those are in your space, the tax area. What are some of the
examples of what's coming down the pipeline from that
Sure Nick, the most important thing I think is the establishment
of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission which
will take effect from 1 July 2012, in just a few months time. This
organisation will take over the regulation of charities primarily
from the Australian Taxation Office which is currently the de facto
regulator for the charities and not-for-profits. So another
significant change that the government is proposing to make is by
introducing a statutory definition of charities. Currently we are
relying on 400 years worth of case law to determine what's a
charity and in the modern world the government thinks that
that's a bit inappropriate. So from 1 July 2013 they're
proposing to bring in a Commonwealth statutory definition of
charity that will require organisations to look at whether they
will remain charitable under the new definition, but also provide
opportunities for organisations that may not currently be
considered charitable by the ATO or by the courts whether they will
come within the new definition. So a lot of organisations should
keep that in mind. Also the ACNC will from 1 July 2017, when the
new definition comes into effect, be undertaking a review of all of
the people that are registered with them, to see whether they
conform with the new definition so organisations should be prepared
for some questions from the ACNC from that time.
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