Transitional arrangements

Charities that were automatically registered

Organisations that were recognised (endorsed) by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a charity able to receive charity tax concessions before 3 December 2012 were automatically registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). Check if your organisation was automatically registered by searching the ACNC Register.

Attention:You need to know! If your charity was automatically registered, and you still haven’t provided us with your charity details, do this by logging in to the ACNC Charity Portal. Your charity’s details will be updated automatically on the ACNC Register.

Governing documents and complying with the ACNC Governance Standards

Transitional arrangements for complying with the ACNC Governance Standards When the ACNC Governance Standards were introduced in 2013, they included a temporary exemption (called ‘transitional arrangements’) that gave charities some time to make sure their governing documents allowed them to comply.

These arrangements meant that if a charity had governing documents that prevented it from complying with a particular part of the Governance Standards, it was temporarily allowed to not comply with that part. They were introduced to make sure there was time for charities to make any necessary changes to their governing documents.

These ‘transitional arrangements’ expire on 30 June 2017.

We think that for almost all charities, this will not require changes to the governing documents. However, it is always a good idea to review your charity's governing documents from time to time, such as at your next annual general meeting, to make sure that they still accurately reflect your charity's operations and work, and allow it to comply fully with the ACNC Governance Standards.

Charities advancing religion

If your charity was automatically registered with us, please check that the 'subtype' of charity it is registered as is the subtype of ‘advancing religion’. This will allow your religious charity to:

  • continue to receive additional charity tax benefits (such as fringe benefits tax exemptions) associated with being a registered religious institution, and
  • be eligible to be a basic religious charity (as long as it meets the other requirements for this).

Attention:You need to know! If your religious charity is not listed with the ‘subtype’ of ‘advancement of religion’ (see ‘sub-entity type’ on your charity’s entry of the ACNC Register) please contact us.

Some public benevolent institutions (PBIs) and health promotion charities (HPCs)

Some charities have a part of their organisation that is endorsed (recognised) by the ATO to receive associated tax benefits as a public benevolent institution (PBI) or a health promotion charity (HPC). This part is called a ‘sub-entity PBI’ or ‘sub-entity HPC’. If your organisation was endorsed before 2 December 2012 by the ATO to receive certain tax benefits (such as deductible gift recipient (DGR) status or fringe benefits tax (FBT) exemptions) because it owns or operates a sub-entity PBI or HPC, it is affected by these changes.

The ACNC has contacted charities that may be affected by this change directly to work through the changes. If your charity wants to continue to receive associated tax benefits, it would have been issued new Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) for its sub-entity PBI or HPC from the Australian Business Register (ABR). The ACNC will be working progressively over 2014 to update our Register to include these sub-entities.

Attention:You need to know! If your organisation owns or operates a PBI or HPC and you have not received new ABNs for your sub-entity, please contact the ABR. If your charity no longer owns or operates that PBI or HPC, please apply to revoke registration for that sub-entity using Form 5A. Application to revoke registration as a charity. You can also contact the ABR to let them know.

Charities that may not have been automatically transferred

Deductible gift recipients (DGRs)

If your charity is a deductible gift recipient (DGR), check the ACNC Register to see if it has automatically been registered with us.

If your DGR is not registered with the ACNC, you may need to register with us so you can continue to be eligible for DGR status under tax law. You can review whether your DGR is required to register with the ACNC by finding your DGR category on the ATO DGR table. Read more about DGRs and the ACNC.

Attention:You need to know! The deadline to register with us (if needed) has now expired. If your DGR is not a registered charity and you think it may need to be registered, contact the ATO to confirm this, before you take steps to register with the ACNC.

Find out more about in the ATO’s guidance for non-profits and by reviewing the ATO’s DGR table.

Self-assessing religious institutions

Previously, some religious organisations self-assessed as religious institutions to be recognised as income tax exempt. These organisations have not been recognised (endorsed) as charities by the ATO and were not automatically registered with the ACNC.

Check the ACNC Register to see if your religious charity was automatically registered with us. If it is not registered, and your charity wants to continue to be eligible for tax concessions associated with being a religious institution (including income tax exemption or fringe benefits tax rebate), it must choose to register with the ACNC.

Attention:You need to know! The deadline to opt-in to register with us (if required) has now expired. If your religious charity is not registered with us and you want to continue to receive associated tax benefits, please apply to register with us.

Find out more about religious institutions in the ATO’s guidance for non-profits and registering with the ACNC. You can also read more about religious charities.


 

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