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Definition of Charity

The Federal Government has released a consultation paper on a statutory definition of charity with the intention of changing the definition. The consultation paper sets out the components of the proposed definition and various issues that may arise.

This new definition of charity will be applicable for all Commonwealth laws and the Government will consult with the States and Territories in order to try to obtain greater uniformity amongst all jurisdictions.

The intention is to change the requirement for a charity to have purposes that are exclusively charitable. Under the definition previously proposed in 2003, a charity was only going to be required to have a dominant purpose that was charitable.

Submissions on the consultation paper close on 9 December 2011.

We anticipate that the changes will have very significant ramifications for many organisations in the not-for-profit sector.


ACNC Website

The Government has now created a website for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Implementation Taskforce. The website provides some interesting statistics on the Australian not-for-profit sector and shows how extensive and important the sector is. It also shows the enormity of the task for the Government of bringing the sector under one regulator. Visit the website.

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Disclaimer: This publication has been prepared on the basis of information available at the date of preparation. The information is general in nature and is not to be taken as substitute for specific professional advice. We recommend that our advice be sought on specific issues prior to acting on transactions affected.