In media release No 2011/113, issued 14 July 2011, the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, announced the release for consultation of an exposure draft of legislation and draft guidelines for a new regulatory framework for public ancillary funds.
The approximately 1,600 public ancillary funds in Australia solicit tax deductible donations from the public to distribute to deductible gift recipients (DGRs) and are a commonly used structure for community philanthropy.
Under the reforms the Treasurer will have the power to make legislative guidelines to establish and maintain public ancillary funds. The changes also give the Commissioner of Taxation the power to impose administrative penalties on trustees who fail to comply with the guidelines and to remove or suspend trustees of non-complying funds. This function may later move to the new Australian Charities and not-for-profits Commission once it is up and running.
The legislation also defers the previously announced start date of 1 July 2011 until 1 January 2012. Trustees of existing funds will be given a choice whether apply the minimum distribution requirements in the new guidelines immediately or wait until 1 July 2012.
Consultation on the exposure draft closes on Monday 1 August 2011 and closes on Wednesday 31 August 2011 for the draft guidelines.