The Government will reform the administration and oversight of organizations with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.
The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services said, “These sensible reforms will enhance the role of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), strengthen governance arrangements, reduce administrative complexity and ensure continued trust and confidence in the sector.”
Following public consultation in 2017, all non-government DGRs will be automatically registered as a charity with the ACNC from 1 July 2019, with a 12-month transitional period to assist current non-charity DGRs with compliance.
In addition, the Commissioner of Taxation will have the power to exempt DGRs from this requirement in certain circumstances, and public fund requirements will be abolished.
The ACNC will also provide a central location for applications and reporting and will work with the ATO to provide a streamlined experience.
The Government will not proceed with the unlegislated 2009/10 Budget measure Philanthropy – reforming the ‘in Australia’ requirements that apply to tax exempt entities, as the unenacted measure could prevent many DGRs from conducting legitimate activities outside Australia (such as visits to foreign medical institutions or participating in international cultural or sporting events) and would not provide appropriate oversight of the overseas activities off exempted organizations such as overseas disaster relief funds.
In addition, to improve transparency for both the ACNC and Australian donors, the ACNC will publish charities’ staff or responsible persons in the Annual Information Statement.
The Government will consult on details of the implementation of these and other DGR reforms.