Susan Pascoe, Our Commissioner

Spring has certainty sprung now that both major football codes have played out their respective grand finals. Congratulations to the Western Bulldogs and the Cronulla Sharks on their victories.

As the football seasons have come to an end, so are our series of Ask ACNC sessions.

Ask ACNC webinar

Between August and October 2016 Ask ACNC visited 26 capital cities and regional centres, and over 2,500 charities registered to attend.

If Ask ACNC didn’t visit your city this time around, or you were unable to attend, I’d strongly encourage you to register for our free Ask ACNC webinar on 12 October. We’ve endeavoured to make the Ask ACNC webinar as close to the face-to-face session as possible.

Charities will hear directly from ACNC Assistant Commissioner David Locke and will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Spaces are limited, so please register as soon as possible to secure your place.

Visit acnc.gov.au/askacnc for more information and to register.

Reducing red tape for Private Ancillary Funds

The ACNC have partnered with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to reduce the red tape faced by Ancillary Funds.

The new streamlined process will reduce duplicative reporting and the costly time involved in administration, allowing PAFs and PuAFs to focus on serving the community.

Previously Ancillary Funds were required to submit an annual return to the ATO in addition to the Annual Information Statement. Ancillary Funds will now only need to complete their 2016 Annual Information Statement, which is due 28 February 2017, to meet their obligations with both the ACNC and ATO.

This change will benefit 3,000 Ancillary Funds that are registered with the ACNC.

You can read more here.

2017 Annual Information Statement consultation

In September 2016 the ACNC published a consultation paper on proposed changes to the 2017 Annual Information Statement. Our aim is to improve the information we collect, while not placing unnecessary burden on the charities that are required to submit the Annual Information Statement.

This approach reflects our dual objectives of maintaining and enhancing public trust and confidence, while reducing red tape for charities.

We’ve already received over 100 written submissions, however we’re extending the submission period by a few more days to ensure we can hear from as many charities and sector stakeholders as possible.

The consultation is now open until close of business 6 October 2016; I encourage you to have your say.

More information is available at acnc.gov.au/2017AISconsultation.

2015 Annual Information Statement errors

As regular readers of this column will recall, around this time last year we commenced a large scale project that assessed the accuracy of the information submitted by charities as part of their Annual Information Statements and annual financial reports.

In total, we reviewed over 38,000 Annual Information Statements and highlighted 7,000 charities that had likely made reporting errors.

We contacted all 7,000 charities to ask that they check the information they provided, and if it was indeed incorrect, to amend it as soon as possible.

This resulted in over $3.4 billion of charity income and $17 billion in charity assets being corrected on the Charity Register.

We are undertaking a similar project this year, and I’m pleased to say that only 6,500 charities have been identified as likely having made a reporting error.

We began contacting these charities in June 2016 and 84% of them have already corrected the reporting errors.

If you received one of these emails and are yet to update the information provided in your annual reporting, please make this a priority for your charity.

The information charities provide is made available to the public on the Charity Register, which has been searched over 1.6 million times. With the Christmas giving season right around the corner, it is very important that your charity’s information, including its income and assets, are accurate and up to date.

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.
Remember to also stay in touch via our social media accounts: