As readers will have no doubt learnt by now, the Federal
Government is committed to abolishing the new third sector
regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
(ACNC) (established in late 2012 by the Gillard Labor government),
and repealing the Charities Act 2013 (Cth) which commenced on 1
It has been reported that the Minister for Social Services,
Kevin Andrews intends to introduce a bill into parliament on 19
March which is intended to achieve the above.
The National Centre for Excellence (NCE), which the Government
proposes will replace the ACNC, is likely to be modelled on the US
Charity Navigator model. The Charity Navigator,
itself a not-for-profit, is a kind of ratings agency for
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
For charities, the responsibility for determining charitable
status and entitlement to the federal tax concessions will remain
with the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will
continue to regulate companies in the sector that are limited by
According to the Minister, abolishing the ACNC will remove an
"unnecessary and ponderous compliance burden on the
sector" and the new NCE will "transfer the focus from
coercive compliance and regulation to collaborative education,
training and development". He has stated that the ultimate aim
is to transfer ownership of the NCE to the sector itself.
Of course, every reputable charity will want to be part of the
NCE when it is established and therefore, in practical terms, the
types of disclosure and compliance actions that readers were
getting used to under the ACNC are likely to be the same under the
NCE – it will just not be mandatory.
We note the Government failed just prior to Christmas last year
to delay the commencement of the statutory definition of charity in
the Charities Act, so we will keep you updated as to the
passage of this abolition legislation through the parliament.
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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