ACNC media release

 

No.199

22 February 2017

Charities risk consequences for overdue annual reporting

More than 4,000 charities are risking sanctions after missing the deadline for their annual reporting to the national charity regulator.

Registered charities that report on a standard financial year, 1 July until 30 June, were required to submit their Annual Information Statement to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) by 31 January 2017.

ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM commended the 88% of charities who have completed their annual reporting on time.

“My thanks to the majority of charities who lodged their 2016 Annual Information Statement on time,” she said.

“The Community will now have access to up-to-date information about them

“However, those charities that have yet to submit their 2016 Annual Information Statements are encouraged to do so now, to avoid penalties, or potentially revocation of charity status.

“The Australian public value transparency in the charity sector, and meeting ACNC obligations is a simple and effective way to achieve this.”

Registered charities that fail to meet their obligations may face financial penalties, and will lose the right to display the ACNC’s Registered Charity Tick. Ultimately, these registered charities also risk having their charity status revoked.

Commissioner Pascoe said that most charities have had several years to familiarise themselves with the ACNC’s annual reporting requirements.

“The 2016 Annual Information Statement is the fourth annual report that registered charities have been required to submit to the ACNC,” Ms Pascoe said.

“Each year we send charities multiple reminders to ensure they know when their reporting is due, and how they can access our range of guidance materials and support services.

“Since the ACNC was established in December 2012, financial penalties have been used sparingly.

“Issuing financial penalties to charities is not something we take lightly.

“However, if deemed appropriate we will penalise those who are wilfully avoiding their reporting obligations.

“Our aim is to continue to be fair, yet firm, when it comes to charities that fail to meet their obligations.”

Penalty notices can reach $4,500, depending on the size of the charity.

For charities that have failed to submit two Annual Information Statements, known as double defaulters, the risk grows.

“Failing to submit two Annual Information Statements is grounds for revocation of charity status,” Ms Pascoe said.

“This is serious step and will result in the charity being de-registered by the ACNC, which means losing access to Commonwealth charity tax concessions.

“In the coming weeks we will be warning double defaulter charities that we intend to revoke their charity status, so I encourage all charities with outstanding annual reports to submit now.”

Resources to help charities complete their 2016 Annual Information Statement, including a checklist, worksheet and the step-by-step guide can be found at acnc.gov.au/2016AIS.

More information about the ACNC’s regulatory powers, including penalties, can be found on our website.

ACNC Media Contact:

media@acnc.gov.au or 0466 089 108.

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