The Annual Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (CLAANZ) Conference, and accompanying ACNC Regulators Day, was held last week.
I’d like to thank Senator the Hon Zed Seselja for taking the time to attend Regulators Day and for speaking to the sector. It was wonderful to hear his plans for the Government’s response to the ACNC review and the reform agenda for the charity sector.
It was also a great opportunity to speak to the sector about my plans for the ACNC Charity Register. The ACNC has the ability to be a premier data agency, and we are always looking for ways to give that data back to the sector.
The biggest change the ACNC are working on relates to the information collected in and shared from the Annual Information Statement. From the 2020 Annual Information Statement, charities will be given the option to include further details of what they do at a program level, and that will make it easier for philanthropists, donors and volunteers to find charities on the ACNC Charity Register that they want to support.
I look forward to sharing further information about this project with you in the coming months.
‘Double defaulter’ charities issued with a Notice of Intention to Revoke
Last week, more than 2,000 ‘double defaulter’ charities received a notice advising that their charity registration would be revoked if they failed to submit their overdue Annual Information Statements by 26 August 2019.
These notices were issued to the Address for Service of the charities that have failed to submit two Annual Information Statements.
If your charity received one of these notices, or you are unsure if your charity is up-to-date with its ACNC reporting obligations, I would encourage you to check the ACNC Charity Register and then submit any outstanding reporting as soon as possible.
For further information, or to see the list of charities at risk of revocation, visit acnc.gov.au/doubledefaulters.
Overdue Annual Information Statements
More than 10,000 2018 Annual Information Statements are overdue. If your charity is yet to submit its 2018 Annual Information Statement, I would encourage you to log into the Charity Portal and submit now.
The ACNC can impose financial penalties on charities who fail to submit on time.
More information about the 2018 Annual Information Statement, including a helpful checklist and guide, is available on the ACNC website at acnc.gov.au/2018AIS.
Scams Awareness Week begins 12 August
August 12 to 16 is Scams Awareness Week, an Australian initiative by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission which aims to raise awareness of scam activity in the community.
Charities are not immune to scam activity – and there have been many instances in the last financial year of individuals posing as a charity, either in person or online.
According to statistics from Scamwatch, there were 996 reports of fake charity scams in the 2018-19 financial year – resulting in reported losses of more than $300,000.
I encourage every generous Australian to consider doing a little research before donating to a charity. Check the ACNC Charity Register to find out more about Australia’s 57,000 registered charities, available at acnc.gov.au/charity.
If you are approached to donate in the street, ask for identification or more information about how the money will be used. If you are approached online, never provide personal details or payment details to anyone you do not know or trust.
More information about scam activity in Australia is available at scamwatch.gov.au.
Consultation submission opportunities
Treasury are currently consulting on exposure draft legislation and explanatory material, which would introduce an economy-wide cash payment limit. The limit of $10,000 would apply to payments made or accepted by businesses for goods and services, as well as donations made to not-for-profit entities.
Transactions of $10,000 or more will need to be paid by electronic payment methods or by cheque.
The new limit will commence from 1 January 2020.
Submissions to the consultation are open until Monday 12 August 2019.
For more information, or to have your say, visit the Treasury website at treasury.gov.au.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) are currently consulting on proposed guidance for companies on the new legal obligations regarding whistleblower policies.
ASIC are also seeking feedback about exempting companies that are small not-for-profits or charities from the requirement to implement a whistleblower policy.
Submissions close 18 September 2019.
For more information, or to have your say, visit the ASIC website at asic.gov.au.
The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) are also consulting on an exposure draft seeking feedback on their proposal to replace the existing definition of a non-for-profit entity.
The proposed definition will determine whether an entity is a not-for-profit entity or for-profit entity for the purposes of applying the Australian Accounting Standards when preparing financial reports.
For more information, or to have your say, visit aasb.gov.au.
Register now for our next free webinar
Our next free webinar will be held on 21 August 2019 and will look at the new External Conduct Standards, which came into effect on 23 July 2019.
Our webinar will look at what the External Conduct Standards are, who they will apply to and what they mean for charities. This is a must view webinar for any charity that undertakes activities internationally, or sends money overseas.
Register via our website to secure your spot.
The Hon Dr Gary Johns