500 Public Benevolent Institutions to undergo review as part of DGR Reforms

Charities with deductible gift recipient (DGR) endorsement are being encouraged to check their registration details, ahead of reviews by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), commencing in July 2020. The reviews are part of DGR reforms announced by the Government in 2017.

Approximately 500 charities will be reviewed by the ACNC per year to assess if they are still eligible to be registered with the ACNC as a charity and subtype of charity and for DGR status. The initial focus will be on Public Benevolent Institutions (PBIs).

Public Benevolent Institutions are the largest section of the DGR population (approximately 11,000), they can access the highest rate of tax concessions and, because they service such a diverse section of the community, have a substantial impact on trust and confidence within the sector.

PBIs will be identified for review based on a risk profile, which will include that they:

  • were registered as a charity and PBI prior to 3 December 2012
  • are not regulated by ORIC
  • have no, or only one Responsible Person listed or no governing document.

“We will conduct reviews of 500 Public Benevolent Institutions that match our risk profile, but there should be no impact on charities under review, unless an issue is identified,” ACNC Commissioner Hon Dr Gary Johns said.

In line with its commitment to transparency and education, and to ensure procedural fairness, the ACNC is encouraging charities to self-assess, using an online tool available on the ACNC website.

“By using our self-assessment tool, charities will be able to identify and rectify most issues, such as nominating Responsible Persons and uploading their governing document to the Register,” Dr Johns said.

“Charities don’t need to notify us of those changes or send us their self-assessment. They can make changes easily through the ACNC Charity Portal.”

The DGR review is designed to strengthen the DGR governance arrangements and bolster confidence in the sector by ensuring that tax concessions are only held by eligible charities, that the integrity of the ACNC register is protected and donors have confidence that donations are applied to a charitable purpose.

“To promote good practice, we encourage charities to assess themselves periodically,” said Dr Johns.

Key facts:
  • In 2020-2021, approximately 500 Public Benevolent Institutions will be reviewed for continued entitlement to registration as a charity, and charity subtype
  • Charities selected for review will all meet pre-defined risk criteria
  • Charities under review will not be contacted unless an issue is identified
  • Charities can self-assess now, using the ACNC self-assessment tool, to identify any potential issue and rectify any omissions or errors on their charity record
  • Charities do not need to submit their self-assessment to the ACNC

Find out more and access the self-assessment tool.