The Government has affirmed its intention to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) by the introduction of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Repeal) (No. 1) Bill 2014 into Parliament on 19 March 2014.
The text of the Bill and the Explanatory memorandum can be found at:
While this first Bill, if passed, will abolish the ACNC, it will not take effect until the enactment of a second Bill which will provide the details of the arrangements replacing the ACNC. The second Bill has not yet been released.
The Explanatory Memorandum reiterates the Government’s previously stated intention to establish a National Centre for Excellence. It also indicates the Government’s intention to return the regulatory functions previously transferred from the ATO and ASIC to the ACNC, back to those original regulators. Thus it would seem that the ATO would again become responsible for determining charity status.
It is not yet clear whether the Charity Register established by the ACNC would remain, albeit administered by a different body.
The Government is seeking to implement its commitment to ‘remove the regulatory impost on the sector’ as soon as possible, and before the first round of financial reporting to the ACNC is required, but time will tell if this is achievable.
Little more can be said until the second Bill is seen.
What has changed?
Nothing has changed yet. The important message for registered charities is that your obligations to the ACNC remain the same at this stage: in particular the requirement to lodge your AIS by 31 March 2014, if you use the 30 June financial year end.
We will continue to monitor developments and provide further updates as more information emerges.
Labour not to support the repeal
Federal Labour has announced that it intents to oppose the repeal of the ACNC Act.
ACNC Repeal Bill referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report
The submissions closing date is 2 May 2014. See: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/ACNC
Read more here.