January charities update

29 January 2014

The commencement of the new federal Charities Act 2013 is discussed in the latest edition of the ACNC Commissioner’s column. This legislation is effective as of 1 January 2014. It sets out a new statutory definition of a charity and clarifies the categories of charitable purposes applicable in Australia in a clearer and more accessible way than was previously the case under common law. The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) will be responsible for implementing the new definition to register charities. The implementation of the Act has resulted in:

  • A new online registration form and increased guidance for charities as part of a broader review and update to the ‘register my charity’ and other pages on the website

  • The Australian Taxation Office updating a number of their guidance products and tools, including the updated model trust deeds for ancillary funds.

The column also issues a reminder for charities completing the 2013 Annual Information Statement. The deadline has been extended from 31 December 2013 to 31 March 2014 for those charities with a June financial year, and to 30 June 2014 for those charities operating on a calendar year.

The column also features a guest editorial from Assistant Commissioner David Locke. Locke looks at the increasing number of charities in Australia following recent debate in the community and media, with several FAQs provided. More detail is available in the column.