Country Idealist Profiles

Victoria (Aus) – Commonwealth Not-for-Profit regulation

Posted in Australia, Victoria (Australia), Victoria (Australia) - Third sector by blopote on August 13, 2008

In addition to State government regulation of NFPs, the Commonwealth also has a significant regulatory role. In particular, the Commonwealth Government regulates NFPs established as companies through the Corporations Act and is responsible for the administration of the federal taxation system.

The Review focused on the administrative burden arising from Victorian Government regulation. However, some findings from the Review relate to the interaction between Victorian and Commonwealth regulation. Key Commonwealth regulators of the NFP sector include the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Their roles are summarised below.

Australian Securities and Investment Commission

ASIC enforces and regulates company and financial services laws to protect consumers, investors and creditors. ASIC is an independent Commonwealth Government body. It reports to the Commonwealth Parliament, the Commonwealth Treasurer and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Commonwealth Treasurer. ASIC administers the Corporations Act which governs the establishment and operation of companies, including the establishment of NFPs as companies limited by guarantee.

Australian Taxation Office

The ATO is the Commonwealth Government’s principal revenue collection agency, and is part of the Commonwealth Treasurer’s portfolio. Its role is to manage and shape tax, excise and superannuation systems that fund services for Australians.

The ATO administers exemptions to NFPs for certain Commonwealth taxes, including income tax, fringe benefits tax, and goods and services tax concessions. These exemptions generally apply to particular types of NFPs, such as charities. Charities and income tax exempt funds require endorsement by the ATO to access most concessions.

Certain NFP organisations are also entitled to receive income tax deductible gifts. They are called deductible gift recipients (DGRs). DGRs are endorsed by the ATO, or listed by name in the tax law.

http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/Web14/dvc/rwpgslib.nsf/GraphicFiles/SSA+NFP+report+smaller/$file/NFP_FInalRpt_smaller.pdf

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