The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has requested public comment on 2 updated Commissioner’s Interpretation Statements being:

  • Commissioner’s Interpretation Statement: Public Benevolent Institutions (PBI), and
  • Commissioner’s Interpretation Statement: Health Promotion Charities (HPC).

These 2 categories of charities registered with the ACNC have access to deductible gift recipient (DGR) status, which allows donors to claim a tax deduction for gifts to the organisation. Often more significant is that the organisation’s employees can salary sacrifice part of their salaries and the organisation can receive grants from ancillary funds and may qualify for a range of exemptions under State taxing statutes.

The ACNC has been conducting a review of PBIs on its register recently that has produced a significant amount of adverse public media and comments.

The new draft interpretation statement on PBIs contains some significant alterations from the previous Commissioner’s views on the law in respect of PBIs. If registered PBIs have concerns, they are encouraged to voice these in the ACNC review.

The ACNC has specifically requested responses in relation to:

  • the situation where an organisation that has a small and exclusive membership of family and close friends with a small scale of operations may not qualify as an ‘institution’ for PBI classification; and
  • should, for the purposes of the word ‘public’ in the meaning of PBI, the organisation be controlled by members of the public who elect a controlling body that reflects its public nature?

Comments are due by 30 August 2022.

ACNC call for comments – https://www.acnc.gov.au/public-consultation-updated-commissioners-interpretation-statements

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