Anyone involved in a not-for-profit cannot fail to be aware of the significant changes that are about to sweep through the sector.
Following on from the Commonwealth Government’s announcement in the 2011-12 Budget that it would establish the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) by 1 July 2012, consultation has taken place on the establishment of the ACNC, and the role, form and functions of the ACNC.
Reflecting the tight timeframe for the establishment of the ACNC (as noted, to begin operation by 1 July 2012), many of the deadlines for submissions have now closed and community consultations have taken place. One of the most recent, the Consultation paper on Review of not-for-profit governance arrangements was released on 8 December 2011 with all submissions due by 20 January 2012. Submissions on the Exposure Draft of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bill 2012 also closed on 20 January 2012.
However, it is not too late to still have a say on the functions and operations of the ACNC. The Discussion Paper on the ACNC Implementation Design released on 9 December 2011 is still open for submissions until Monday, 27 February 2012.
The Implementation Design paper, together with electronic submission form, can be found on the Treasury website.
The paper discusses the design and implementation of the new reporting framework to be administered by the ACNC, and seeks comments on the ACNC’s public information portal and its educative role. All this is central to the Government’s stated vision of a ‘report once-use often’ model for the not-for-profit sector.
In the first instance, only charities will come under the ACNC, with extension to the broader not-for-profit section expected in the future.
From 1 July 2012, all new charity registrations will be through the ACNC, and charities currently endorsed by the ATO will be automatically registered with the ACNC. Many of the other key measures, including the implementation of a statutory definition of charity for all Commonwealth purposes (against which ongoing eligibility for charitable status will be assessed) and the activation of reporting requirements for charities, are currently stated to apply from 1 July 2013.
The final form of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bill 2012 due to be introduced into Parliament in the next few weeks will be awaited with interest.
For more information, contact Peter Francis or Jenni Lightowlers.
16 February 2012