The Federal Government has announced that the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) will be abolished and replaced with a Centre of Excellence which will have innovation and advocacy functions. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will resume regulatory functions regarding charities. 

The Minister for Social Services, Hon Kevin Andrews, has also flagged the possibility of a self-regulatory model for the not-for-profit sector whereby an independent (non-government) entity reports on various aspects of not-for-profit organisations.  Such a charity evaluator model is the US-based Charity Navigator.

Until such time as amendments abolishing the ACNC are passed by Parliament, charities are required to comply with the requirements currently in force. These requirements include lodging Annual Information Statements and meeting the Governance Standards in order to remain registered.

The Federal Government has made a raft of other announcements that also impact on the not-for-profit sector including that the Government:

  • intends to repeal the statutory definition of 『charity’ and 『charitable purposes’ for all Commonwealth purposes (repeal of the definitions, which came into effect on 1 January 2014, will mean reversion to the common law), and
  • does not intend to proceed with its Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT).