These provisions are: the introduction of a statutory definition of ‘charity’ to be used in all Commonwealth laws to take effect from 1 July 2013, the establishment of an Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission and the implementation of a not-for-profit income tax.
The definition of ‘charity’ will be based on the 2001 Report of the Inquiry into the Definition of Charities and Related Organisations, taking account of the findings of recent judicial decisions, such as Aid/Watch Incorporated v Commissioner of Taxation. The Government will also consult with the states and territories with the intention of developing and introducing a definition of ‘charity’ that can be adopted by all jurisdictions.
$2.8 million over the next four years will be contributed to the new Australian Charities and Not for profits Commission. It is expected that the commission will develop guidance for the sector, implement system changes, and re-assess the charitable status of entities on the basis of the new statutory definition. It is also expected that the Commission will reduce red tape and improve transparency and accountability of the sector.
Not-for-profit tax reform
Tax reforms will be introduced to ensure that concessions provided to not-for-profit entities are targeted only at those activities that directly further altruistic purposes. As such, any income retained from commercial activities that is not directed towards altruistic work will not be tax exempt. The new arrangements will commence on 1 July 2011 and will initially affect only new unrelated commercial activities that commence after 10 May 2011.
Third Sector acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.