Interim Commissioner's Column

Please note: this Commissioner's Column is an archived document which contains historical information. It may have outdated or broken links.

Susan Pascoe, AM Interim Commissioner and Head of ACNC Implementation Taskforce

Thank you for your feedback

Over the past couple of weeks I have appreciated the feedback on this column. I would like to thank you for your words of support and your valuable suggestions.

Amongst the feedback, some have said that they find the column lengthy so this week, I have tried to be keep it shorter. However sometimes it will be necessary to provide you with more detailed information on a subject.

Conversely, some people have commented that they find the column to be too general. I realise that charities often require specific information and guidance tailored to their circumstances. I would like to continue to invite you to contact us via our ACNC Taskforce Mailbox or on 1800 020 008 or 03 9247 0969 where we can better consider your individual needs and respond to these in more detail.

We have also received feedback to suggest that we have been a little general when mentioning matters such as our start date and particular activities which the Commission will conduct based on its legislative responsibilities. Given that the ACNC has yet to be established and our legislation is still being debated by Parliament, at times it is not possible to provide specific information. Rest assured that once the legislation is finalised and passed, and the ACNC comes into operation, we will be better placed to share our activities and services with you.

The overall aim of the Commissioner's column is to provide general updates on the progress of the ACNC Taskforce and the ACNC once we are established. Once the ACNC opens you will also be able to call our Advice line 13 ACNC (13 22 62) which will be open from 8.00am to 8.00pm AEST and you can email us at advice@acnc.gov.au.

I have written about the Advice line and the Taskforce Mailbox in many previous columns. Today I am going to go into further detail on a couple of the types of enquiries the Taskforce is already receiving through these communications channels.

As with many Government customer service lines, we are beginning to get an idea of the busy times when the sector and the community will look to us for advice and information, as well as the types of enquiries that are consistently coming through. As such we are preparing our systems and our staff to be ready to answer your calls and emails. We are analysing this information to develop guidance and education materials for our website and online communication channels so we can answer your questions and meet your expectations.

Starting up

We have heard from a number of people over the past week wondering if the ACNC has commenced operation. At this stage the ACNC has not been established and a future start date is tied directly to the passage of the legislation.

Currently, the Bills have been passed through the House of Representatives and have been referred to the Senate for further debate in an upcoming Parliamentary sitting period. We will keep you updated on further progress through this column and our social media accounts when the firm opening date is finalised.

Preparation for existing charities

A number of existing charities have contacted us unsure whether they have to do anything in preparation for the ACNC's commencement. I would like to reassure you that if you are an existing charity that already receives charity tax concessions from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) you will be automatically registered with the ACNC from its commencement.

As part of a mailout to all existing charities after our establishment, the ACNC, will also send you a letter asking you to confirm your existing details and to provide us with some extra information which will be displayed on the ACNC Register. The letter will also ask charities to nominate if they would like an alternate accounting period and will let you know where you can get further useful information.

In closing, please continue to keep in touch with us. We value and welcome your feedback.

Good Wishes
Susan Pascoe AM


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