Australia: Three new Makinson & d’Apice charities registered with the ACNC in one week!
Last Updated: 14 March 2013

Summary - Three new Makinson & d'Apice charities have been registered by the ACNC in one week, however the ACNC takes a strict interpretation on what is a charity for the advancement of religion.

Last week three Makinson & d'Apice clients were registered by the ACNC as charities. The ACNC advised at a seminar last week that 105 new charities have now been registered Australia-wide since 3 December 2012.

The registration process was longer and more time consuming than estimated by the ACNC, with some applications taking almost three months. Once approved by the ACNC, registered charities can apply for tax exemptions from the ATO such as income tax exemption and deductible gift recipient status (DGR). All clients have had their ATO exemptions approved just a few days after registration with the ACNC, demonstrating that the ATO process is much quicker and easier than the ACNC registration process.

We confirm that in accordance with the ACNC's stated objectives of working collaboratively to educate and assist charities, the ACNC representatives that we have dealt with during the registration process have listened carefully and offered suggestions where possible. However, this conciliatory approach does not mean that the ACNC has not taken a firm stance on some issues.

In particular, this registration process has highlighted the ACNC's interpretation of what is a charity for the advancement of religion. The ACNC appears to have taken a strict interpretation whereby various charitable activities carried on by religious organisations under separate ABNs are not necessarily recognised as charities for the advancement of religion.

With this in mind, we recommend that any entity considering registering with the ACNC speak with us if they are in doubt, so we can consider the pre-existing case law and Taxation Ruling 2011/4 in regards to the charitable purposes and the appropriate subtype(s) of your organisation.

We will continue to keep you informed of ACNC and other charity law developments through our blogs and bulletins.

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