On 6 March 2013, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation 2013 became effective and will mean that the ACNC Register will now include additional information on registered charities.

The ACNC Register is a register which members of the public can use to search for information on a charity registered with the ACNC. Its purpose is to provide information to the public about registered charities and “promote public confidence, informed choices and philanthropy”.1

At present, the ACNC Register is only to include the following information on a registered charity:

  • Legal name
  • Contact details (including address for service)
  • ABN
  • Type of entity which it is registered as and date of effect
  • Governing rules
  • Name and position of each responsible entity (ie director, members of the committee of management, trustee)
  • Annual Information Statements required to be provided to ACNC
  • Financial reports and any audit or review reports required to be provided to ACNC
  • Any enforcement actions undertaken by the Commissioner of the ACNC
  • Any other information the Commissioner is authorised to collect under the ACNC Act
  • Any other information specified in the regulations.

If you currently did a search of the ACNC Register, most of the above information is yet to be made available. You will only receive information on the charity’s name, ABN, the tax concessions it is entitled to receive and whether it is a deductible gift recipient. That is because only the information that was held by the ATO on a charity was transferred over to the ACNC on 3 December 2012. That information was not comprehensive and this is part of the reason why the ACNC has sent out to registered charities the “Confirm your details” form to help populate the ACNC Register.

Additional information on a registered charity is now to be provided on the ACNC Register under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation 2013 (effective 6 March 2013):

  • Whether for a financial year (or substituted accounting period) it was a small, medium, large or basic religious charity
  • The countries (other than Australia) in which it operates
  • The States or Territories in which it operates
  • Other names by which it may have been known
  • The categories of benefit recipients
  • A copy of the annual report or a link to the annual report on a website maintained by the registered charity
  • Annual or financial reports of the registered charity for the financial year (or substituted accounting period) before the 2012-2013 financial year
  • The day it was established in Australia
  • Whether approval has been granted for the registered charity to provide joint or collective reports and the other entities that are grouped with the registered entity in such reports
  • Electronic link to a website maintained by the registered charity
  • Statement that it has failed to give the ACNC Commissioner a report or statement required by the reporting obligations under ACNC Act

There are some conditions to the above information being provided however they are easily met (for example, a common condition is that the registered charity has voluntarily disclosed the information to the ACNC).

How the changes may affect you

Charities and directors of charities will need to understand their obligations and review their governance systems to ensure they are or will be in compliance with the requirements under the ACNC legislation.

In addition, charities will need to determine whether they wish for certain information to be withheld from the ACNC Register.