More Ask ACNC sessions

Thank you to those who have attended one of our ‘Ask ACNC’ sessions. To date, we have run over 20 sessions around the country throughout August and early September, with nearly 3 000 people registering to attend. I am pleased to announce that due to very high levels of interest from the sector, the ACNC will be holding a further seven Ask ACNC sessions in Brisbane, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Ballarat, Broadmeadows, Wollongong and Albury. These new sessions will begin in late September and run into early October (exact dates below).

If you are located in these regions, I encourage you to register your interest. By attending, you will hear up-to-date statistics on the NFP sector and information we have gathered about charities in your area. You will gain a clear understanding of the ACNC’s regulatory approach and your obligations as a charity including your charity’s reporting requirements. You can also get face-to-face, one-on-one help from ACNC staff. If you were unable to attend a session in your area or cannot attend one of the newly announced sessions, you can access a copy of your location’s specific presentation on the Ask ACNC sessions web page. A video recording of the Melbourne session will also be available soon on the page.

Queensland Victoria New South Wales
Brisbane – 22 September Ballarat – 30 September Wollongong – 7 October
Rockhampton – 23 September Broadmeadows – 1 October Albury – 8 October
Toowoomba – 24 September

Penalties for 2013 Annual Information Statement non-filers

One of our key aims in running the Ask ACNC sessions has been to encourage the 18% of charities that have not submitted their 2013 Annual Information Statement to meet with us in a friendly setting and take advantage of the help that we can provide them to submit their Statement. We want to help as many charities submit their 2013 Annual Information Statement before we are obliged to impose financial penalties. It is important to note that as Commissioner, I have no discretion over penalties being applied as that they are triggered automatically in the ACNC Act. Submitting your Annual Information Statement is a legislative requirement and charities who do not act quickly will be issued a notice of a financial penalty from the Australian Taxation Office acting on behalf of the ACNC. More information and support on how to complete the 2013 Annual Information Statement is available on our website at acnc.gov.au/2013AIS

Get ready to submit your 2014 Annual Information Statement

Over 80% of charities have submitted the 2013 Annual Information Statement, so now is a good time to start preparing to submit the 2014 Annual Information Statement. The 2014 Annual Information Statement is now available on the Charity Portal, and is pre-populated with information from the 2013 Annual Information Statement to make it much easier and quicker to complete.

This year charities will need to provide some financial information. By collecting this information and making it publicly available the ACNC is making a significant contribution to enhancing public trust and confidence in the Australian not-for-profit sector. Financial information is valued by donors and grant makers when they are assessing who to fund. More information and guidance on the 2014 Annual Information Statement are available on our website at acnc.gov.au/2014AIS

While the due date for the 2014 Annual Information Statement depends on your charity’s reporting period, most charities use the standard 1 July – 30 June financial year which means their 2014 Annual Information Statement is due on 31 December 2014. Charities with a different reporting period have six months from the end of the reporting period to submit their 2014 Annual Information Statement.

First edition of ACNC Quarterly coming out soon

You will also be able to find useful tips for submitting your 2014 Annual Information Statement in the first edition of our newsletter, ACNC Quarterly, which you will receive in the next few weeks. This new initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to keep charities up-to-date with the latest ACNC news including reporting requirements, education and guidance tools, latest research and information about current compliance risk areas which at the moment includes private benefit and the financing of terrorism.

Terrorism and our ‘watchdog’ role

With Australia’s growing involvement in combatting terrorism overseas, the ACNC’s ‘watchdog’ role has never been more important. As a member of the Financial Action Task Force, we remain vigilant and are doing our part to ensure that non-profit organisations are not misused to generate, be conduits for, or conceal resources intended to finance terrorist activity. We do this by monitoring the compliance of charities and taking action where necessary, by maintaining and updating the ACNC Register and by maintaining strong links with a range of regulatory, intelligence and enforcement agencies. I would like to encourage all charities that send money overseas to read our information about managing terrorist financing risks. Anyone who has concerns about the conduct of a charity should contact the ACNC so we can assess the risk and take action if necessary.

Take the charity health check

Charities can now also do a quick self-assessment of the health of their charity with the Take the ACNC compliance test: is your charity complying?You can also learn more about our compliance function by reading about how we ensure charities meet their obligations.

More charities to lose charity status unless they make contact with us

Next week, we will be publishing our second list of missing charities on our website and providing these charities with a notice of intention to revoke registration. This second group form part of an estimated 4 000 charities that the ACNC has been unable to locate or contact despite an exhaustive search and who may have their registration progressively removed unless they make contact with us. They follow the first group of missing charities we published earlier in the year which resulted in us revoking the charity status of 246 charities.

State of the Not for Profit Sector Survey

You may also wish to see the results of the State of the Not for Profit Sector Survey which was run by Pro Bono Australia, Net Balance Research Institute and the Community Council for Australia.

Good wishes

Susan Pascoe AM

Contact us

Our phone number is 13 ACNC (13 22 62) or you can email us at advice@acnc.gov.au.

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