New Victorian fundraising regulations determine certain activities as not being fundraising appeals

New Victorian fundraising regulations began on 1 June, amending counterparts a decade old.

They prescribe:

  • Certain activities as not being fundraising appeals.
  • Certain record-keeping requirements.
  • Information and consents required for an application to renew registration as a fundraiser.
  • The fee for inspecting records.
  • Infringement penalties for offences in section 61D of the Fundraising Act Extra information that may be contained in the register of fundraising appeals, and Other matters necessary to give effect to the act.

The Victoria government’s Consumer Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (Part 4) amends the Fundraising Act 1998. Noteworthy changes are:

  • Organisations already registered with the ACNC will no longer need to go through separate steps to register with Consumer Affairs Victoria as a fundraiser. Instead, they will need only to notify CAV of their intention to fundraise to be considered registered. They will remain registered until they are deregistered as a charity by the ACNC or deemed by CAV to be no longer a registered charity, and
  • The legislation will give CAV the power to deregister ACNC-registered organisations as fundraisers if they have ‘paid an excessive commission or other remuneration to a collector or commercial fundraiser’. ‘Excessive commission’ is not defined.

A senate select committee on charity fundraising has urged the government to develop within two years national regulations for NFPs and fundraisers.

The recommendation is a core proposal in its recently tabled 89-page report.

The committee heard that many charities failed to comply with relevant regulations and that noncompliance with various commonwealth and state laws was both accidental and deliberate.

It made two recommendations to the government:

  • To provide urgently a public response to recommendations made in a review panel’s report Strengthening for Purpose: Australian Charities and Note-for-profits Commission Legislation Review, and
  • To commit to working with state and territory governments and the NFP sector to develop a consistent national model for regulating NFP and charitable fundraising activities within two years.

Charity Fundraising in the 21st Century is divided into five chapters:

  • Chapter 1 provides an overview of the conduct of the inquiry.
  • Chapter 2 details previous inquiries and recent developments relevant to the inquiry’s terms of reference.
  • Chapter 3 outlines the current legislative and regulatory frameworks governing charity fundraising and NFPs at the state, territory and federal levels as well as bodies responsible for their oversight and enforcement.
  • Chapter 4 highlights issues identified in the absence of a consistent nationwide regulatory framework for charity fundraising, and
  • Chapter 5 outlines the options for reform and sets out the committee’s views and recommendations.

NFPs move to STPs

If your NFP has 19 or fewer employees, you will need to start reporting through Single Touch Payroll from 1 July 2019. It means that you report your employees’ tax and superannuation information to the ATO each time you pay them.

The tax office has made several resources available to make the change, including a guide for small employers, a list of STP software providers and a news, events and resources page.

If your NFP has between one and four employees and doesn’t use payroll software, other ways to report STP information are:

  • Implementing a no-cost and low-cost solution for STP that may include simple payroll software, mobile phone apps and portals, and
  • Working with a registered tax or BAS agent. You may report your STP information quarterly simultaneously with business activity statements rather than each payday. Your tax or BAS agent will still need to report your STP information through an STP-ready solution. The option is available only until 30 June 2021.

For more information visit https://www.ato.gov.au/Non-profit/Newsroom/Lodgment-andconcessions/Single-touch-payroll-for-small-employers/.