Major reforms are now in force which lift the red tape burden on WA charities, reducing their administration costs and resulting in more money being made available to charity recipients.
The changes to WA’s Charitable Collections Act simplify the application process and reporting requirements while removing duplication of compliance for charities.
Charity licences do not have an expiry date now, so they don’t have to be renewed every three years as was required previously. However, the continuous licences are issued on the condition that the charity complies with annual reporting and other obligations.
An updated memorandum of understanding between Consumer Protection and the federal Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) streamlines and reduces the regulatory burden on WA charities while allowing greater sharing of information and harmonisation between the two agencies.
From the 2020 financial year, most WA charities that are registered with the ACNC no longer need to submit annual financial statements to both agencies as the ACNC now shares that information and, if annual revenue is under $250,000, the accounts do not need to be audited or reviewed.
To participate in this arrangement, eligible WA charities must provide their WA fundraising licence number when submitting their Annual Information Statement to the ACNC.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said the red tape reductions have been warmly welcomed by the sector but those in need of assistance will benefit the most.
“The less charities spend on compliance and administration costs, the more funds will be available for the charitable purpose,” Ms Chopping said.
“These reforms are a significant step forward in harmonising charity laws throughout Australia and reducing the regulatory burden on the sector which deals with federal and various state and licensing agencies.
“The changes in the law won’t change the high level of scrutiny of organisations that collect donations and we will continue to ensure that funds are used as donors intended, which is important for the confidence of the community as well as the reputation of the sector.”
ACNC Commissioner the Hon Dr Gary Johns said reducing unnecessary regulation for charities is one of our main objectives.
“We support harmonisation as it helps charities operate more effectively and makes it easier for them to comply with regulations. This new change is very welcome, and we continue to work towards minimising reporting duplication,” Dr Johns said.