The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
("ACNC") now looks likely to commence operation in early
December 2012 with the Australian Charities and Not-forprofits
Commission Bill 2012 ("Bill") passed in the Senate this
week (with amendments) and approved by the House of
The Bill was amended to adopt the majority of the
recommendations contained in three committee reports which were
undertaken throughout August and September 2012 by the House of
Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, the Parliamentary
Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services and the
Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs.
Significant amendments to the Bill include:
both Houses of Federal Parliament must pass a resolution
approving the governance standards and external conduct standards
which are yet to be prescribed in regulations to the legislation
and which will be the subject of further consultation with the
charities and not for profit sector and community at large;
a prohibition on 'gag' clauses into the governance
standards which might otherwise restrict a not-for-profit
organisation in its advocacy or criticism of Government policy or
other issues related to its mission or purpose.
The date of actual commencement of the ACNC is yet to be
determined and we will keep you informed. It is most likely that
the ACNC will, however, be operational within a matter of
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO NOW?
In short, if you are presently endorsed by the Australian
Taxation Office ("ATO") to receive charity tax
concessions, then you will be automatically registered with the
ACNC and do not need to do anything in order to obtain registration
from the date the ACNC commences.
Only charities endorsed by the ATO, as referred to above, will
be regulated by the ACNC from its inception. Whether the remainder
of the not-for profit sector will be regulated by the ACNC is yet
to be seen.
IN RELATED NEWS
ASIC annual review fees
Recently, Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury announced that
registered charities which are corporations will no longer have to
pay annual ASIC fees. It is estimated that around 1,400 charities
will benefit from the removal of ASIC annual fees.
Victoria and South Australia lead the
Victoria and South Australia are leading the way on state reform
in attempting to reduce red tape for not-for-profits in light of
the implementation of the ACNC. Victoria has introduced the
Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012, which comes into effect
on 26 November 2012. The legislation aims to reduce duplicative
state regulations, reduce costs for charities, and to transition to
the national regulatory framework which the ACNC hopes will be
achieved. In South Australia, amendments have been proposed to
harmonise reporting requirements and authorise charities to collect
charitable donations in South Australia, once they are formally
registered with the ACNC.
We discuss whether certain clauses commonly found in ordinary commercial contracts could be considered to be penalties.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).