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  • Not-for-profit Stewardship Group minutes 8 March 2017

    Meeting details

    • Venue: Sydney
    • Date: 8 March 2017
    • Time: 10.00am to 3.00pm
    • ATO co-chair: Rod Walker, NFP Strategy Team and Client Experience
    • Community co-chair: Joe Zabar, Catholic Social Services Australia
    • Contact and secretariat: Gess Sottile, phone 02 6216 2264.

    Next meetings:

    • 19 July 2017, Melbourne
    • 8 November 2017, Canberra

    Attendees

    Organisation

    Name and title

    ACNC

    Murray Baird, Assistant Commissioner and General Counsel

    Arts Law Centre

    Robyn Ayres, Executive Director

    Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-profit Studies, QUT

    Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes, Director

    Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD)

    Phil Butler, NFP Sector Leader

    Catholic Social Services Australia (Co-Chair)

    Joe Zabar, Director Strategic Policy and Engagement

    Giuntabell

    Nunzio Giunta CPA, Managing Director

    Herbert Smith Freehills

    John Emerson, Consultant

    Justice Connect

    Savi Manii, Not-for-profit Law (for Juanita Pope)

    Philanthropy Australia

    Krystian Seibert, Manager Policy & Research

    Prolegis Lawyers

    Anne Robinson AM, Founder and Principal

    Salvation Army

    John McIntosh, Charities Tax Advisory Service

    Tax Institute

    Michelle Hartman, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

    Treasury

    Susan Bultitude (for Murray Crowe)

    ATO

    Tim Dyce, Deputy Commissioner and NFP Client Experience Owner

    Rod Walker, Senior Director NFP Strategy and Client Experience

    Mark Ferguson, Manager NFP Policy & Law

    Albert Beric, Director NFP Risk and Strategy

    Matthew Petersen, NFP Risk Manager

    Ilana Millar, Assistant Commissioner, Tax Counsel Network

    Justin Dearness, Acting Assistant Commissioner Technical Excellence Services

    Robert Drummond, (by phone) Assistant Commissioner, Business Reporting and Registrations, Operations

    Sally Bektas, Acting Assistant Commissioner Marketing and Communications Audience Teams

    Anna Longley, Assistant Commissioner, Technical Excellence Services

    Melinda Gibbs, Technical Leader

    Michael Barilla, Team Leader

    Iris Sin (by Phone), Compliance Director, Engagement & Assurance Services

    Ricky Herbert (by phone), Director, International Transparency (CRS item)

    Bronlynn Graham (by phone), Director, GST Technical Product Leadership (for ATO Benchmark Market Values item)

     

    Gess Sottile, Secretariat, ATO NFP Strategy Team, NFP Reinvention

    Apologies

    Name and title

    ATO

    Martin Jacobs, Assistant Commissioner, Technical Excellence and NFP experience lead

    Jobs Australia Ltd

    David Thompson AM, CEO and member of the Board of the National Roundtable of Non-profit Organisations

    Law Council of Australia

    Jennifer Batrouney QC, Chair of the Law Council's NFP Legal Practice and Charities Committee (by phone)

    Record of meeting

    Welcome

    The ATO Co-chair opened the meeting and outlined the current focus areas and priorities for the ATO in helping improve the not-for-profit (NFP) experience when interacting with the ATO as follows:

    • Finding ways to improve the registration process for NFPs, based on information provided by NFPs, including new entrants.
    • Looking for ways to enhance the ATO's engagement with NFPs, including collaborating with the ACNC and being more visible and accessible to NFP organisations (for example, attending and/or presenting at various conferences).
    • Implementing a secondment program with NFPs, commencing with the placement of an ATO officer with Justice Connect in April 2017.
    • Developing a comprehensive and contemporary skilling program for ATO officers that deal with NFPs, ensuring that ATO staff have a better understanding of NFPs and their needs.
    • Developing better assistance for NFPs about GST, including more tailored guidance products and services.
    • Developing improved and contemporary education services for NFPs.

    The Community Co-chair observed that this group has made significant progress on issues that had stalled previously and thanked the ATO for being open to issues raised by members of this group. The Community Co-chair expressed his gratitude for the mutual respect and trust that has developed between members and the ATO, and particularly thanked Justin Dearness of the ATO for his leadership of the Division 50-50 Working Group and for writing an excellent discussion paper that has helped the group progress this issue.

    The progress of action items from the 9 November 2016 meeting was discussed and it was noted that:

    • Item NFPSG 17–16 Annual meeting for NFPs to have a conversation with the ATO – the ATO advised that this item is in progress and further consideration will be given to alternative ways to engage directly with NFPs, especially through existing NFP forums and events rather than a separate, new event. ATO will keep in mind that 'no one size fits all' and look to leverage existing and planned forums and events rather than contributing potentially to 'consultation fatigue'. It was noted that it is important to match the engagement channel with the purpose of the engagement and to look for opportunities to partner with NFPs and other government agencies.
    • Item NFPSG 21–16 Ensuring the government consult with this group about policy changes affecting NFPs and charities – Treasury advised that they will ensure that this group is consulted.
    • Item NFPSG 25–16 ATO publish a schedule of future engagement and education events – the ATO advised that this item is in progress and will discuss this with the Communication and Engagement Working Group at future meetings of this group.

    Confirmation of 9 November 2016 meeting notes

    The record of the 9 November 2016 meeting was confirmed and is now available here:

    ATO marketing and communication update

    The ATO's Marketing and Communication representative advised that the Communication and Engagement Working Group has met twice (29 November 2016 and 8 February 2017) and will continue to meet regularly. Members include members of the NFP Stewardship Group, the ACNC and NFP representatives outside of the NFP Stewardship Group membership. This working group is partnering with the ATO to help improve ATO web content, tailor ATO messages for not-for-profits (NFPs), widely promote the range of guidance products services the ATO provides for the NFP sector, and to help the ATO understand the 'whole user' experience for NFPs.

    It was also noted that the ATO is:

    • Engaging with an external company to undertake research to help the ATO understand the diversity of the NFP sector as well as the various behaviours, attitudes and drivers of NFP organisations. Results are expected to be delivered in mid-May and the ATO will report back to members at the July 2017 meeting.
    • Harnessing cross-promotional opportunities with the NFP sector and industry partners to showcase related ATO guidance and support products and services.
    • Preparing to deliver a set of webinars in 2017 covering topics including FBT, GST and concessions, Getting started, Mutuality and taxable income and Tax basics. Where possible the ATO is partnering with other agencies as well as NFPs to deliver webinars to provide an integrated, whole user experience rather than an ATO-only view.
    • Developing educational videos covering registrations, gifts and fundraising and endorsement.
    • Using, where appropriate, a broader spectrum of social media channels to increase the reach of NFP-specific ATO messages.
    • Exploring communication channels outside of the ATO for publishing tax information for NFPs.

    Discussion

    In relation to social media and online communication the ATO was asked to keep in mind that an alternative still needs to be available for those that are not yet using these platforms. In relation to specific platforms, a member noted that they have observed that NFP peak bodies and older volunteers are taking up Facebook whereas younger people are moving away from Facebook to newer social media platforms.

    Action item

    Action item:

    NFPSG 1 – 17

    Due date:

    July meeting

    Responsibility:

    ATO Marketing and communication team

    The ATO will provide a presentation about the results of research commissioned by the ATO designed to understand the behaviours, attitudes and drivers of NFPs and the various types of NFPs.

    Workshopping session

    Three topics were presented to the meeting for discussion.

    Impact of the implementation of the Common reporting standards on not-for-profits (NFPs)

    The ATO presented an overview of the new Common Reporting Standards (CRS) law for the purpose of discussing with members the possible impacts on NFPs and charities of the implementation of Tax Law Amendment (Implementation of Common Reporting Standards) Act 2016.

    The CRS legislation received royal assent on 18 March 2016 and will take effect on 1 July 2017. More information can be found here:

    ATO guidance material does not yet cover the specific issues that might be encountered by some NFPs however, the ATO will ensure that information is made available that is tailored to NFPs and will also push information to those entities who are more likely to need to consider whether the CRS is relevant to them.

    The ATO noted that the UK's implementation of the CRS has already commenced and they have prepared some very comprehensive information that may be of interest to members as this information is accurate and could be useful to Australian charities and NFPs:

    Members were provided with the contact details of the ATO's CRS team and encouraged to contact them to discuss the changes.

    Discussion

    Members asked the following questions to which the ATO has provided responses as follows:

    What is the threshold test?

    The threshold test for an entity to be subject to CRS obligations is whether it is a 'Financial Institution' as defined under the CRS. In simple terms, a not-for-profit entity can be an 'Investment Entity' for CRS purposes if both:

    1. Its financial assets are managed, in whole or part, by a Financial Institution.
    2. It primarily derives its income from investing or trading in financial assets.

    If an entity is an Investment Entity it will be a Financial Institution with CRS obligations.

    The entity is managed by a Financial Institution if that Financial Institution performs, either directly or through another service provider, any of the following activities on behalf of the for the entity:

    1. Trading in money market instruments, foreign exchange, exchange, interest rate and index instruments, transferrable securities or commodities futures trading.
    2. Individual and collective portfolio management.
    3. Otherwise investing, administering or managing Financial Assets or money.

    To meet this test, the managing Financial Institution must have discretionary authority to manage the entity's assets in whole or in part. If the financial assets are not managed, or they are managed by an individual, then the entity will not be an Investment Entity.

    An entity primarily derives its income from investing or trading in financial assets if at least 50% of its income is attributable to investing, reinvesting or trading in financial assets in the shorter period of either:

    • the three-years ending on 31 December in the year before that when its status as an Investment Entity is to be determined
    • the time the entity has existed.

    Are gifts included in income for the purpose of determining the threshold amounts?

    Yes.

    What is the nature of the reporting required?

    Reporting is required for certain financial accounts. Of most relevance to not-for-profit entities, the definition of a financial account for CRS reporting purposes will include 'equity interests' which in turn includes grants made to beneficiaries.

    Information must be reported on any holders of financial accounts who are foreign tax residents ('reportable persons'). In the case of an entity account holder, reporting is also required for an account if there are any controlling persons of the entity that are foreign tax residents. Reporting is annual.

    The information to be reported is:

    • name
    • address
    • jurisdiction of residence
    • taxpayer identification number
    • date of birth
    • account balance or value.

    For a grant, the account value or balance is the value paid during a calendar year and any amount outstanding at the end of the year to be paid in future years.

    Is there a cut-off point?

    Other than the 50% investment income threshold, there is no cut-off point to qualify as an Investment Entity for CRS purposes.

    There is also no minimum value threshold for reportability of new accounts from 1 July 2017.

    How does the CRS regime apply to Charities and NFPs over and above their natural systems?

    The CRS would require charities and not-for-profits (if they are Financial Institutions as defined under the CRS) to carry out certain due diligence procedures on grantees to identify foreign tax residents. The due diligence relies in part on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures that the entity might already follow, but would require additional procedures. The ATO has more information on the CRS here.

    Action item

    Action item:

    NFPSG 2 – 17

    Due date:

    Completed

    Responsibility:

    CRS Team and NFP technical team

    The ATO will prepare further information as part of consulting with members in an out-of-session meeting. The Discussion paper will address the questions asked during the meeting and in particular the question, 'How does the CRS regime apply to Charities and NFPs over and above their natural systems?'

    Update: Discussion paper prepared and meeting held with members of the NFP Stewardship Group on 30 March 2017. New CRS guidance information is now available here.

    Review of ATO benchmark market values

    This topic was tabled in response to a query forwarded to a member by an NFP housing provider who also wrote to the Commissioner of Taxation outlining the issues they have identified about the ATO's benchmark market value tables.

    The ATO advised the meeting that, in response to the issues raised, the ATO is reviewing the information it provides about GST and non-commercial rules – benchmark market values including Table 5: Long-term accommodation – weekly figures.

    Members were provided with background information and focussing questions to prompt discussion on the issue and invited to contribute to the changes made to guidance provided by the ATO on this topic. Also, on 8 March 2017, the ATO published an invitation to the community for their input via a Non-profit News Service article.

    Members were also provided with the contact details of the ATO's GST Technical Product Leadership team and encouraged to contact them if they wished to discuss the issue.

    Action items

    Action item:

    NFPSG 3 – 17

    Due date:

    31 March 2017

    Responsibility:

    Members

    Members to provide feedback and comments on ATO's review of benchmark market values to NFPStewardshipGroup@ato.gov.au

     

    Action item:

    NFPSG 4 – 17

    Due date:

    ASAP

    Responsibility:

    GST Technical Product Leadership team

    Members to provide feedback and comments on ATO's review of benchmark market values to NFPStewardshipGroup@ato.gov.au

    Revocation of DGR status for non-compliance with Ancillary fund guidelines

    Members were invited to discuss with the ATO their thoughts about the circumstances or types of non-compliance with the Ancillary Fund Guidelines that would warrant action by the Commissioner including suspending or removing a trustee from an ancillary fund or revoking the tax concession status of an Ancillary Fund.

    The ATO also asked members for their thoughts on the type of guidance product(s) that would be helpful to ancillary funds and their advisors and provided members with suggested changes that could be made to the existing ATO Practice Statement.

    • PS LA 2014/1 Administration of penalties for failure to comply with Ancillary Fund Guidelines

    The ATO noted that the ACNC plays a pivotal role in the administration of Ancillary Funds and explained that any new guidance would outline how the ACNC and the ATO work together to administer these funds. Consideration would also be given to joint ACNC/ATO guidance.

    Discussion

    Members suggested that there are two main areas where issues generally arise in relation to technical breaches of the guidelines:

    • where there are once-off historical problems that have not been picked up
    • older funds that have ongoing issues that are not being picked up as part of their annual audit.

    Both of these issues are seen as stemming mainly from a lack of awareness or understanding of the requirements rather than deliberate mischief. The ATO recognised that these are issues that can be remedied at least in part by clearer guidance and education. The ATO also advised that clearer guidance will also be provided to ATO staff to ensure consistency in approach.

    The ATO explained that it is not possible to apply a blanket 'fix' to these issues as each fund has its own set of circumstances that need to be considered, however, there are steps the ATO can take to remedy some historical problems once they are identified.

    Members observed that:

    • ultimately trustees need to take responsibility for the administration of their funds and this needs to be made clear in ATO guidance material.
    • a distinction should be made between technical breaches and more substantial breaches that go to the heart of the purpose of the fund. Substantial breaches would warrant more direct application of the Commissioner's powers.
    • that these issues can be complex, particularly where there is a question of private benefit and what the consequences of this should be beyond revoking the tax concession status of an ancillary fund.
    Action item

    Action item:

    NFPSG 5 – 17

    Due date:

    24 March 2017

    Responsibility:

    Members

    Members and other interested NFPs to be invited to provide feedback and comments on ATO Compliance approach for Ancillary Funds and the administration of related penalties to NFPStewardshipGroup@ato.gov.au

    Division 50-50 Working group update

    The ATO's Tax Counsel Network representative managing the Division 50-50 working group thanked members of the working group for their constructive involvement and their feedback on the ATO discussion paper presented to the working group at their meeting in February 2017. The ATO outlined for the meeting the main issues discussed at the February 2017 meeting as follows:

    • the governing rules special condition
    • the operation of the 'solely' special condition; for example, where an entity pursues purposes or conducts activities that are incidental or ancillary to the purpose for which it is established
    • the operation of the special conditions for minor, inadvertent and/or remediated breaches
    • the ATO's view on the relevance of the new Commissioner's Remedial Power in addressing these issues
    • Taxation Ruling TR 2015/1 Income tax: special conditions for various entities whose ordinary and statutory income is exempt
    • administrative certainty the ATO can offer while the law remains unchanged.

    Discussion

    The outcomes of the Division 50-50 Working Group meetings were discussed by the group as well as the consensus reached by the working group in relation to the recommendations put forward in the ATO discussion paper.

    Members thanked the ATO for an excellent discussion paper and for their approach and commitment to progressing this issue.

    It was agreed that the next step will be for all members to indicate which of the ATO recommendations they support and for the ATO to then organise a meeting of the Division 50-50 Working Group to discuss how to progress the agreed recommendations with government.

    Monthly updates about the work of the Division 50-50 Working Group are published here:

    Action items

    Action item:

    NFPSG 6- 17

    Due date:

    Completed

    Responsibility:

    ATO Tax Counsel Network

    Seek confirmation by email from all NFP Stewardship Group members about which Division 50-50 Discussion paper recommendation they support.

    Action item:

    NFPSG 7- 17

    Due date:

    ASAP

    Responsibility:

    ATO Tax Counsel Network

    Following receipt of Division 50-50 Discussion paper recommendations preferences from members, organise a meeting of the Division 50-50 Working Group to discuss how to progress the agreed recommendation with government.

    Treasury update

    The Treasury representative provided an update to the group, including discussion about:

    • progress of issues that members have asked to be raised with government
    • progress of the outcomes of various government reviews of relevance to not-for-profits and charities
    • Ministerial changesExternal Link in relation to the ACNC and taxation matters.

    ATO law update

    Review of ATO public advice and guidance

    The ATO Tax Counsel Network representative provided a law update:

    • The ATO is not involved in any litigation or new law implementation relating to not-for-profits at present.
    • The ATO's review of its public advice and guidance is progressing and an updated list of products and the action being taken will be provided to members after the meeting. Members will be asked to express their interest in being involved in this work, especially where major changes are proposed.
    Action items

    Action item:

    NFPSG 8 – 17

    Due date:

    Completed

    Responsibility:

    ATO Tax Counsel Network

    Provide members with a list of the ATO's public advice and guidance under review that relate to not-for-profit issues for their information.

    Action item:

    NFPSG 9 – 17

    Due date:

    Completed

    Responsibility:

    ATO Tax Counsel Network

    Seek interest from members to be involved in the ATO's review of its public advice and guidance that relate to not-for-profit issues, including working groups to be set up to look at ATO public advice and guidance products that require significant change.

    Revised model trust deeds for ancillary funds

    The ATO advised that it is proposing updates to its model trust deeds for Public and Private Ancillary Funds and associated ATO online content to ensure that these products are up-to-date.

    The revised model trust deeds were circulated prior to the meeting and members have the opportunity to provide comments by 7 April 2017.

    Action item

    Action item:

    NFPSG 11 – 17

    Due date:

    7 April 2017

    Responsibility:

    Members

    Members and other interested NFPs to provide feedback and comments on proposed changes to the ATO's model trust deeds for ancillary funds to NFPStewardshipGroup@ato.gov.au

    ABR issues update

    The ATO's Business Reporting and Registrations representative provided the following update on ABR issues.

    Fund names not showing

    There was an issue for a small group of clients (around 80) where the fund name was not displaying. This was investigated and the entities are being contacted to help resolve their issues. The systemic issue causing the problem has been fixed.

    Keeping authorised contact details up-to-date

    Confirmed that charities registered with the ACNC are able to have their ABR details updated by ACNC Responsible Persons who are not necessarily already ATO Authorised Contacts. This can be done through the normal channels including by phone. The legal advice to the ATO at this stage is that the ABN cannot 'copy' the ACNC Responsible person into the ABR Authorised Contact data however; this does not prevent the ACNC Responsible Person from updating the ABN record.

    Discussion

    It was noted that this agenda item arose from a report to this group in 2016 that an ACNC Responsible person had rung the ATO to update an ABN record and had been refused, contrary to the call scripts that say they can update the record. There is no evidence that this is a systemic issue. An ATO representative raised that the information used by the general call centre is perhaps not clear enough and may result in the ACNC approved Responsible Persons calling the ATO and still being refused the ability to update ABR records. There is also evidence that written request are being closed for the same reasons.

    There was interest as to whether the ACNC register is being checked to ensure that callers are ACNC registered responsible persons.

    If members become aware of further ABR issues, please send details to NFPStewardshipGroup@ato.gov.au

    Action item

    Action item:

    NFPSG 12 – 17

    Due date:

    ASAP

    Responsibility:

    Robert Drummond

    Process and procedures around ACNC Responsible Persons being able to update ABR records will be checked to ensure they are clear and are being implemented correctly.

    FBT return

    Questions around the time and effort required by not-for-profits (NFPs) to provide information at Question 23 of the FBT return (Details of fringe benefits provided) and possible solutions were raised by a member. The main points raised were:

    • NFPs need to lodge an FBT return each year if they have a FBT liability.
    • FBT return form is NAT 1067-01.2016 and Guidance to complete form is NAT 2376  
    • FBT exempt NFPs that provide fringe benefits under caps do not need to lodge FBT returns.
    • All non-exempt NFPs that provide fringe benefits need to lodge FBT returns.
    • ATO asked to undertake a review of Question 23 to determine if NFPs can be excluded from reporting this information.

    Discussion

    Members wanted to know if there is a legal requirement underpinning Question 23 in the FBT return, and if so, whether there is an administrative way to simplify the requirements of the question.

    There were differing views as to whether any changes to Question 23 would be limited to FBT-exempt entities or apply across the board.

    There was consensus that information about how to complete Question 23 needs to be updated to be clearer, especially for NFPs and consideration be given to more tailored information to NFPs.

    Action item

    Action item:

    NFPSG 13 – 17

    Due date:

    ASAP

    Responsibility:

    ATO FBT Representative

    The ATO will determine the legislative or administrative requirements behind Question 23 on the FBT return and then consult with the NFP Stewardship Group on next steps.

    Risk and assurance update

    The ATO's not-for-profit (NFP) risk manager provided an update as follows:

    Ancillary funds change of notice to lodge process

    In relation to lodgment requirements for private and public ancillary funds, rather than continue to issue an individual notice to every fund, it is proposed to notify the lodgment requirement via a legislative instrument that is gazetted. An education campaign will be undertaken to ensure funds are aware of the change.

    Ancillary funds not endorsed as charities

    Some ancillary funds have not applied for charitable endorsement or have had their endorsement revoked.  These funds are not exempt from income tax and may have lodgment and payment obligations. In the past the ATO has not pursued lodgment of a trust return. The ATO now intend to contact these funds, starting with a small sample of around five cases to discuss with them their tax obligations.

    Victorian Consumer Affairs 

    State governments hold certain data for NFPs that have registered for fundraising/grants.  Their data may reveal non-compliant behaviour for example, stating that gifts to tax deductible when the organisation or fund is not endorsed as a deductible gift recipient and providing private benefits to individuals.  The ATO met with the Consumer Affairs Victoria in March and is expected to make contact with other states and territories in due course.

    Australia's response to Financial Action Taskforce Recommendation 8

    The ATO is progressing analytical work to identify at-risk clients as part of AUSTRAC led consultation.

    Our compliance approach

    The ATO has updated its online content about its compliance approach to NFPs, with a new link on the Not-for-profit tab on ato.gov.au

    Discussion

    Members suggested that the ATO should consider that, in relation to not-for-profits, the term 'building confidence in the NFP sector' should probably be recast to something along the lines of 'building confidence in the tax and super system for NFP organisations'.

    Action item

    Action item:

    NFPSG 14 – 17

    Due date:

    ASAP

    Responsibility:

    ATO Chair

    The ATO will take steps to increase community awareness of this material and rename the title.

    Client engagement and assurance

    The ATO Chair introduced to the meeting the current ATO Director of the NFP Engagement and Assurance team who provided the following update:

    • The ATO's current approach is to support prevention rather than relying only on detection of non-compliance and to focus on offering timely support to NFPs, including early engagement options.
    • The ATO is working on tailoring communication with NFPs to provide clearer guidance regarding tax obligations and concessions.
    • The ATO is undertaking an investigation into taxpayers purporting to stream their untaxed employment, contractor or business income through an unincorporated 'non-profit private foundation' they treat as not being subject to income tax. The foundations, and the people controlling them, frequently don't comply with their other tax obligations, such as those relating to superannuation and GST. This structure is being promoted by some advisors. A taxpayer alert issued recently about this issue.
      • Non-Profit News Service – Using 'non-profit foundations' to evade or avoid tax | Australian Taxation Office 
       
    • The ATO is also taking steps to better understand the types and numbers of organisations that are self-assessing as income tax exempt. Letters have issued to high turnover organisations to gauge whether they have self-assessed correctly, whether they are in fact charities that should be encouraged to register with the ACNC, or whether they are in fact taxable organisations. This same process will now be applied to lower turnover organisations.

    ATO streamlined registration project update

    The ATO chair advised members that the ATO has organised a workshop on 14 March 2017 to discuss with relevant stakeholders how the ATO can improve the registration process for not-for-profits (NFPs). In summary:

    • Attendees will include some members of the NFP Stewardship Group, other NFP representatives including some new entrants to the tax systems, ACNC representatives, state government representatives, and relevant ATO staff.
    • Leading up to the workshop, the ATO contacted NFP representatives and ATO staff to understand the current experience.
    • This design workshop is intended to confirm the ATO's understanding of the issues raised by NFPs and to identify solutions.
    • The outcomes from the workshop will be collated and a high level design for solutions and next steps is expected to be finalised by 30 June 2017.
    Action item

    Action item:

    NFPSG 15 – 17

    Due date:

    July meeting

    Responsibility:

    ATO Chair

    Report back to the NFP Stewardship Group at their July 2017 meeting about the outcomes of the Streamlined Registration workshop.

    Other business

    ACNC update

    The ACNC representative provided an update as follows:

    • Work continues to improve the integrity of the Charity Register, ensuring that it is up-to-date. Penalties are being applied in appropriate cases where charities are not meeting reporting obligations.
    • Where appropriate, charities that are non-compliant continue to be removed from the Charity Register  
    • The ACNC continues to work with the states and territories to work towards harmonisation of reporting (especially fundraising reporting), the sharing of charity data and cutting red-tape, for example Red tape reduction for SA and TAS charities – ACNCExternal Link

    Measuring effectiveness of change

    The ATO will be taking steps to measure the effectiveness of its consultation with this group and the not-for-profit sector more generally, as well as the effectiveness of the changes intended to improve the experience of not-for-profits interacting with the ATO. Members can expect to be contacted in coming months.

    Contacting the ATO

    Members were reminded that they can raise issues or submit questions to the ATO anytime via the NFP Stewardship Group inbox NFPStewardshipGroup@ato.gov.au

    2017 Meeting dates

    • 19 July 2017, Melbourne
    • 8 November 2017, Canberra
      Last modified: 09 Aug 2017QC 53046