The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), the national regulator of charities, is calling for charities to submit their 2014 Annual Information Statement as soon as possible.

With a rush of submissions expected next week ahead of the 31 January deadline, the ACNC says that charities using a standard reporting period of 1 July to 30 June should not leave their submission until the last minute.

ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM, said that last year, the largest number of submissions came in on the actual due date.

“We had 1 500 charities submit on the day of the deadline last year. We also had huge numbers of charities submitting in the days preceding,” Ms Pascoe said.

“This puts immense pressure on our systems, which can result in delays. To avoid delays, I encourage charities to submit as soon as they can.”

Ms Pascoe said many charities had already submitted their 2014 Annual Information Statement.

“More than 12 000 charities have already submitted and now have an up to date entry on the ACNC Charity Register, available to the public at acnc.gov.au/findacharity.

“This means members of the public and donors can find accurate and credible information about the important work these charities are doing.”

Ms Pascoe also reminded charities that completing their 2014 Annual Information Statement was a requirement to maintaining registration.

“Submitting a 2014 Annual Information Statement is a legislative requirement for charities registered with the ACNC and there are penalties for non-lodgement, including revocation of charity status.”

Organisations managing multiple charities are encouraged to use the bulk lodgement form for the 2014 Annual Information Statement. The form allows Annual Information Statements for a number of charities to be submitted using a single form.

Ms Pascoe said that nearly 8 000 charities took advantage of the bulk lodgement form for the 2013 Annual Information Statement and encouraged eligible charities to do the same for the 2014 Annual Information Statement.

“Last year the online bulk lodgement form saved groups of charities significant time and effort, and I would like to encourage these charities to take advantage of this streamlined process for the 2014 Annual Information Statement,” Ms Pascoe said.

“The form will be particularly useful for corporate trustees administering multiple trusts, or the denomination administration offices that look after a number of religious charities.”

The bulk lodgement form, guidance and more information is available at acnc.gov.au/bulklodgement.

Charities can find further information about the 2014 Annual Information Statement at acnc.gov.au/2014AIS.

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Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission media@acnc.gov.au