On 10 July 2012, the government referred the next draft of the
ACNC Bill to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on
Economics for further review over the Winter break. Submissions can
be made to the Committee by 20 July 2012.
While the following is not an absolute guarantee, until the
Committee makes its recommendations, this last draft of the Bill,
contains the following relevant provisions.
Basic Religious Charities have been granted exemption from:
Lodging annual financial reports
Complying with governance standards
Power of the Commissioner to suspend or remove a director or
trustee (called a "responsible entity")
They have not been granted exemption from the need to register
as a charity or to lodge an annual information statement.
They have not been granted exemption from external conduct
standards (ie relevant for activities conducted outside
Basic Religious Charity is defined as:
a registered entity (on the ACNC register);
an entity with a purpose that is the advancement of religion
(only)(column 2, item 3 subsection 25-5(5)
Those religious charities which also fall within any of the
following categories, are not exempt:
the relief of poverty, sickness or needs of the aged
– such an entity likely to be a public benevolent
the advancement of education; or
purposes beneficial to the community, or
the prevention or control of diseases in human beings, or for
the provision of child care services, or
generally as a public benevolent institution.
A Basic Religious Charity does not fit the definition if:
it is a body corporate registered under the Corporations Act
it is incorporated under an association incorporations act or
is an aboriginal corporation or a Norfolk Island corporation;
If it is a deductible gift recipient
If it forms part of a reporting group (either joint reporting or
If it has received a grant from an Australian government agency
either in the current financial year or the (previous two financial
SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE Entities (which include
individual, body corporate, body politic, unincorporated
associations, trusts) fall within the categories now defined as
small, medium or large.
Small – revenue less than $250,000 per annum;
Medium –revenue less than $1,000,000 per annum which
is not a small entity;
Large – any entity that is not small or medium.
Annual information statement
All entities (including a Basic Religious Charity) whether
small, medium or large must lodge an Annual Information Statement.
This statement will contain increasing levels of detail depending
upon whether the entity is small, medium or large and will mainly
go to establishing that an entity has performed its objects in the
preceding reporting period.
The first Annual Information Statement reporting period will
cover the period ending 30 June 2013 and must be lodged within six
months of the end of that period.
A Basic Religious Charity is exempt
For all other entities:-
Small entities do not need to lodge financial reports.
Medium entities need to lodge financial reports but they need
not be audited; they can simply be reviewed.
Large entities must lodge financial reports which are also
The first Financial Reporting Statement will cover the period
ending 30 June 2014 and must be lodged within six months of the end
of that period. If an entity is already using a substituted
accounting/reporting period, it can give notice to the ACNC within
six months of 1 October 2013 and those entities can continue to use
their alternative reporting period. If a new entity wishes to use a
different reporting period to 30 June it must apply to ACNC at the
time of application for registration.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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