EY Red Tape 2014 Report confirms the ACNC is part of the red tape solution

Last week saw the release of a very important piece of research commissioned by the ACNC - the Research into Commonwealth Regulatory and Reporting Burdens on the Charity Sector, by Ernst & Young (EY).

This research for the first time seeks to quantify the burden that the Commonwealth Government imposes on charities and to suggest clear practical ways in which the Government can eliminate red tape. It provides an evidence base on what the burden actually is. This is the starting point for effective policy making.

EY found that the Commonwealth imposed a burden of $18,000 per annum on small charities increasing to $235,000 p.a. for large charities. It concluded that the bulk of the red tape arises from funding agreements. Significantly, it found that the proportion of the overall burden imposed by the ACNC’s reporting requirements is 0.1%.

The report recommends that the ACNC work together with other departments and agencies to encourage the early adoption of available tools to reduce red tape. This research recognises that the ACNC is part of the solution, not the problem.  We will continue to promote the Charity Passport and champion the need for ongoing reform with other government agencies. We will accept financial reports submitted to state and territory, and several other government regulators, as meeting our requirements for the 2014 reporting period.

The ACNC is the only government agency required by its Act to promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the not-for-profit sector and we are committed to ongoing initiatives to achieve this.

To view the Research into Commonwealth Regulatory and Reporting Burdens on the Charity Sector, click here.

First Curtin Charities 2013 Report event in Perth

On Monday I attended the first of a series of five events to be held across Australia to provide an in-depth look into the recently released Curtin Charities 2013 Report. The event, held in Perth and hosted by the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, was attended by a range of different stakeholders from Perth’s charity sector. The report, which used data from over 40,000 2013 Annual Information Statements, generated  some lively and informed discussion. I would like to thank the CAANZ for hosting the event and all who attended and contributed to the success of the event.

If you are interested in attending one of the upcoming events (detailed below), I would encourage you to register your interest to attend here. (Please note registrations are limited and will be accepted on a first come first served basis)  





Monday 13 October

Governance Institute of Australia


Tuesday 14 October

Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand


Tuesday 28 October

Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand


Wednesday 29 October

Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand

Penalties for 2013 Annual Information Statement non-filers

The ACNC has had ongoing communications with the charity sector to ensure all charities know their obligations under the ACNC Act, including the recent Ask ACNC sessions around Australia attended by some 3500 people. We have communicated to charities that, under the ACNC Act, penalties may apply to charities that continue to fail to meet their legal requirements.

Whilst just under 45,000 charities have now completed their 2013 Annual information Statement, others have failed to do so, and are now nearly six months late. The ACNC has taken considerable steps to explain your obligations, sent reminders to every charity of what they need to do, provided practical guidance and, through our Ask ACNC sessions offered face to face support.

For charities that still have not submitted for more than six months after their due dates, their charity entry page on the public ACNC Register will show that their statement is ‘overdue’. It will be clear to funders, supporters, and the general public that these charities are in breach of their legal obligations. If your charity reports to the financial year, you must submit your 2013 Annual Information Statement by 31 October 2014 to avoid having your charity’s entry showing that your 2013 Annual Information Statement is 'overdue’ on the Register.

If you know of charities that have been ignoring our letters, or hoping that there will be no consequences from not complying with ACNC requirements, please do encourage them to act now.

If we have evidence that you are intentionally not submitting, the ACNC will be applying penalties. Maximum penalties for non-compliance are up to $4260 for large charities. Finally, if you do not complete your 2014 Annual Information Statement when it falls, and have not completed your 2013 AIS, then the ACNC may move to revoke your charitable status, which results in the ATO removing your entitlement to charity tax concessions. To find out more about ACNC’s approach to finalising the register, read about how we ensure charities meet their obligations.

Charity revocations

We continue our work to ‘clean up’ the historic data on charities provided to the ACNC when it started in December 2012. It is important that the ACNC Charity Register only contains the details of active genuine charities that the public can support with confidence.

As many charities received their tax endorsement years ago and the ATO did not have to maintain an up-to-date register, this is a big task.  It involves us progressively trying to identify charities that we believe are no longer operating.

If we have had our post returned and despite exhaustive searching been unable to track down the charity then we are publishing their name on a list on our website. A group of 400 missing charities have until this Friday 14 October to notify the ACNC that they are still operating in order to avoid revocation of their charity status. Revocation will take effect from 20 October 2014 and will mean these charities will no longer be able to access Commonwealth tax concessions. We will continue to remove inactive charities from the register in groups until we are confident all listed charities are operational.

Ask ACNC sessions

Today we have been in Albury helping the many charities located in the area. This session marks the last session for a while. We will be in Kalgoorlie in November and more sessions may be announced. I would like to extend my thanks again to the 3500 charities representatives who signed up for these events and made them such a success.

Australia's first survey on innovation in the not-for-profit sector

Charities have a deserved reputation for being innovative and resourceful. The ACNC Act has an object to support and sustain a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative not for profit sector. I am excited about some work that is being carried out to measure the innovation of not-for-profits.  I would encourage you to complete the Survey on Innovation in the Not-For-Profit Sector. This is being run by Australia Post and GiveEasy. Those who complete the survey will receive a copy of the Not-For-Profit Innovation Report and a copy of their organisation’s Innovation Index Scorecard. To find out more about the survey or to complete the survey, click here.

Good wishes
Susan Pascoe AM

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