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  • Not-for-profits: the big picture

    We are committed to making it easy for not-for-profits (NFPs) to access tax concessions and meet their regulatory obligations. We understand most NFPs want to do the right thing and look to us to provide easy to understand advice and guidance.

    We recognise the need to work with other government agencies towards a streamlined, whole of government experience for NFPs.

    On this page:

    Help for not-for-profits

    We are dedicated to engaging directly with NFPs to build relationships, and listen to feedback to design tailored information, services and advice.

    We have worked to:

    • meet with NFPs and their advisers to understand how they operate and their concerns
    • meet one on one with a range of NFP intermediaries
    • facilitate the NFP stewardship group
    • increase community awareness of the help services and tools available, including linking to trusted online help offered by other organisations
    • participate in the Third Sector Live conference with Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission
    • update online tools and checklists including the handover checklist for NFP administrators.

    See also:

    Information and advice

    We want to make it easy for NFPs to get it right. We support them with clear, easy to access information on our website.

    We deliver high quality services and advice to NFPs and their advisers through our advice phone line and in writing.

    Ways we have supported NFPs include:

    • we answered 25,942 calls on the NFP advice line during the 2018 financial year
      • 93% of taxpayer calls were answered within five minutes
      • 98% of tax practitioner calls were answered within two minutes.
       
    • we responded to 540 written requests for technical guidance on charity related issues
      • requests were completed, on average, within six working days of receipt, which is well below the published service standard of 80% within 28 days.
       

    Public advice and guidance

    We consult and work closely with NFPs and experts on the laws that apply to NFPs to improve and update our public advice and guidance.

    Helping charities and Deductible Gift Recipients (DGRs) to get it right

    We published Taxation Ruling TR 2018/D1 Income tax: the 'in Australia' requirement for certain deductible gift recipients and income tax exempt entities.

    We consulted widely and provided NFPs with the opportunity to comment on the draft ruling.

    Taxation Ruling TR 2018/D1 supports registered charities and DGRs to understand how to meet the 'in Australia' condition, helping them to get it right and comply with the conditions of endorsement.

    Helping religious entities understand fringe benefits tax exemption

    We reviewed and updated Taxation Ruling TR 2018/D2 Fringe benefits tax: benefits provided to religious practitioners, reaching out to religious organisations registered with us to seek feedback on the draft ruling.

    These updates include examples to help religious organisations understand the exemption rules, drawing on real scenarios that apply to them in a current setting.

    See also:

    • Taxation Ruling TR 2018/D1 Income tax: the 'in Australia' requirement for certain deductible gift recipients and income tax exempt entities
    • Taxation Ruling TR 2018/D2 Fringe benefits tax: benefits provided to religious practitioners

    Communication

    In response to community feedback, in 2017–18 we communicated regularly with NFP organisations through targeted and tailored communication activities.

    We helped NFPs understand their obligations and keep up-to-date with changes to the tax and super systems by:

    • contacting private and public ancillary funds to highlight common errors and types of tax issues that attract our attention
    • creating a monthly newsletter with over 20,000 individual subscribers, who receive updates on articles published in the Not-for-profit news service
    • delivering targeted webinars on topics of interest for NFPs to help them understand tax obligations and how they apply to them – our communication through various channels has resulted in a 75% increase in attendance at our webinars.

    Transparency, integrity and fairness

    We work collaboratively with NFPs, and government and community stakeholders in designing and implementing continuous improvements to the help we offer NFPs to access tax concessions and meet their obligations.

    We are supportive of those who do the right thing.

    We are committed to detecting and dealing with the small number of NFPs that:

    • intentionally and dishonestly use tax concessions to avoid their tax and super obligations
    • claim refunds or other payments they are not entitled to.

    We are building trust and confidence in the NFP sector, ensuring the Australian community feel confident in engaging in charitable activities that support our community.

    Through targeted reviews, audits and campaigns, we are making sure NFPs do the right thing.

    See also:

    Last modified: 24 May 2019QC 58353