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By Bill d’Apice and Joanne Grant, Makinson d’Apice, Solicitors, Sydney

2018 was a busy year for charities and other not-for-profits. In this article, we have summarised some of the changes and issues that will confront the sector for the remainder of 2019.

  • The ACNC review – we expect the Government to provide its response to the review in the first half of this year.
  • The “in Australia” draft ATO Ruling will be finalised.
  • The ACNC External Conduct Standards will commence on 1 July 2019 (unless disallowed by Parliament).
  • DGR reforms are slated to come into effect from 1 July 2019: with non-government organisations with DGR status to be registered as charities with the ACNC, and the ACNC to administer the registration of harm prevention charities, cultural organisations and overseas aid funds.
  • The federal election will likely bring up a number of issues which may impact upon charities and not-for-profits.  Already the Labor Party platform denying cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits may have an impact upon tax exempt entities.
  • Will this be the year that there is some significant fundraising reform? Perhaps the Australian Consumer Law may be expanded to include charitable fundraising?  This would provide consistency in approach throughout all jurisdictions in Australia and a welcome relief from administrative burdens to NFPs across the country.
  • Meanwhile the NSW Government is busy drafting new charitable fundraising guidelines for public consultation later this year.
  • The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety is underway and it will no doubt impact significantly on a number of charity and not-for-profit aged care providers, (click here to read our Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety brochure).
  • The National Redress Scheme is well underway after a slow start.  We can expect the number of claims to increase as more organisations agree to enter the Scheme.
  • The new FBT Ruling will come into effect.
  • The legislative package containing the Government’s response to the Ruddock Religious Freedom Review should be tabled in Parliament.
  • Hopefully there will be further state or territory take-up of ACNC reporting and further cutting of red tape.

These are just some of the things that may come across our desk in the next few months … and of course there’s always the unknown!

Contact the author directly by email or by telephone.

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