ACNC Interpretation Statements
As the ACNC develops our approach to the legal meaning of charity, we will produce guidance through ‘ACNC Commissioner’s Interpretation Statements’. These statements help to guide charities and the public on how we understand the law that applies to charities, including to explain the law made by judges ('common law'), parliament (legislation) and any legal issues that may arise.
Please note that more Interpretation Statements will be developed progressively as we develop our approach, make more registration decisions, and after the Charities Act starts from 1 January 2014.
The status of ACNC Commissioner’s Interpretation Statements
These statements reflect our current understanding of the law on charity and are binding on ACNC staff. While we do not have the power to produce binding rulings in the same way as the ATO’s tax rulings, we will ensure that organisations that rely on the Interpretation Statements are treated fairly, consistent with our objects and regulatory approach. If the law or an Interpretation Statement changes, we will apply the new position from the date of the change, not retrospectively in a way that could disadvantage your charity. In most cases, we will also allow a period of time for charities to respond to any change.