South Australia is set to become the first state to scrap double reporting requirements – a move that will significantly cut red tape and reduce the administrative burden for registered charities.
Minister for Business Services and Consumers Gail Gago said the move will eliminate the need for charities collecting in South Australia to report to both South Australia’s Consumer and Business Services (CBS) and the national charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
“These changes will have a very positive effect on the sector and result in a much simpler process,” Ms Gago said.
“Currently in South Australia, the Collections for Charitable Purposes Act 1939 (CCP Act) regulates fundraising activities and requires charities collecting or attempting to collect money or goods for certain charitable purposes to be licensed by CBS.
“Charities need to lodge financial information annually for CBS to fulfil legislation requirements of providing disclosure statements about their fundraising activity.
“Many charities are also incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 and have reporting requirements under that Act.
“The ACNC began operation in December 2012. It has established an Australia-wide publicly accessible register of charities, which is supported by consistent reporting requirements for charities.”
The Statutes Amendment (Commonwealth Registered Entities) Bill 2015 introduced into Parliament today proposes charities and incorporated associations registered under the ACNC Act will only need to report annual finance information once - that is, to the ACNC.
Ms Gago said charities often find themselves very stretched with work load and resourcing pressures and these changes will help to achieve a dramatic reduction in paperwork.
“If registered under the ACNC Act, charities can elect to notify CBS of their intention to act as a collector in South Australia as part of their registration. These charities operating in South Australia will still need to comply with the charities code of practice.
“The changes will not prevent a charity from being licensed under the CCP Act if not registered under the ACNC Act, however registration under the ACNC Act is mandatory to access
Commonwealth taxation concessions and other Commonwealth benefits and concessions, including deductible gift recipient status.
“Additionally, the Bill also includes amendments to clarify the intent of the CCP Act by changing the definition of charitable purpose.
“While other states are looking into similar changes, South Australia will be the first state to implement these changes if passed by Parliament.”
CBS will work with ACNC to maintain the charities sector through its monitoring, compliance and enforcement functions.