The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) continues to ‘clean-up’ the national Charity Register, today revoking the charity status of 392 charities that the regulator believes are no longer operating.
The group of 392 charities were among approximately 56 000 charities transferred to the ACNC from the Australian Tax Office in December 2012.
ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM, said the group of charities had not been in contact or responded to multiple letters and calls since the federal charity regulator’s establishment.
“We believe these charities are no longer in operation, hence we are revoking their charity status,” Ms Pascoe said.
“The ACNC is committed to providing the Australian public with a Charity Register that is credible, accurate, and up to date, and this exercise is a key part of that process.
“In 2013 we began to contact each registered charity to confirm their existence and their contact information. Since the commencement of that project, we have been able to locate over 4000 charities for which we did not hold accurate records.”
Charities that have their status revoked but are still operating will have their application to re-register with the ACNC fast-tracked once they have lodged any overdue reports.
Ms Pascoe foreshadowed further revocations for charities that have not met their legislative obligations with the ACNC.
“In the coming months, the ACNC will publish a notice of intention to revoke the charity status of hundreds of charities that have not lodged both their 2013 and 2014 Annual Information Statements,” Ms Pascoe said.
“Charities are required to lodge an Annual Information Statement each year, and charities that do not lodge for two consecutive years face losing their charity status.
“This will be the first group of charities to have their registration with the ACNC revoked for not lodging their Annual Information Statement.
“We expect most charities who do not file their 2013 and 2014 Annual Information Statements are no longer operating, so removing them from the Charity Register will be part of our exercise in cleaning up old data we inherited from the Australian Tax Office. However, there will also be some charities which, for a variety of reasons, do exist but failed to comply with their reporting obligations.
“The easiest way to ensure a charity is not at risk of having its charity status revoked is to lodge all outstanding Annual Information Statements. If charities are having trouble lodging their Annual Information Statement they are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 13 ACNC (13 22 62).”
The list of the 392 charities revoked on 19 January 2014 can be found at acnc.gov.au/whereareyou.
ACNC media contact: email@example.com