Are the assets of an incorporated charity held on trust for its purposes?

Background If money or property is given to an incorporated charity for a specified charitable purpose, then the charity must hold that property on trust to pursue the purpose. In that instance, the charity must not apply the property for its general purposes.  Lawyers tend to use the terminology that the [...]

2020-12-14T11:56:47+10:00December 14th, 2020|

Can negotiations for foundation funding amount to an enforceable promise?

There is scant litigation between charitable foundations and donees in Australia and even less where a potential donee brings the action. In a recent Queensland Supreme Court case that has yet to fully proceed to trial, a preliminary action dismissed a claim against one of the defendants, the founder of the [...]

2020-12-14T11:53:12+10:00December 14th, 2020|

ACNC to Audit PBI Status

On 5 December 2017, the Commonwealth Government announced a package of reforms to improve the oversight of organisations with deductible gift recipient (DGR) status.  These reforms included bringing Departmental register DGRs such as environmental funds and overseas aid funds under the supervision of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).  The [...]

2020-12-14T11:47:30+10:00December 14th, 2020|

The importance of structuring charitable bequests

In our April bulletin we discussed some of the implications for charitable bequests where the named charity to receive a benefit under a will had ceased to exist after the testator's death because it had been wound up after transferring most of its assets to another charity.  In that case the [...]

2020-06-29T11:00:46+10:00June 29th, 2020|

Traps in hyperlinking documents for meeting purposes

Background A recent decision of the Federal Court has focussed heavily on electronic communication with company members and the use of hyperlinks for accessing documents and the implication of those for meeting arrangements[1]. The Australian Computer Society Incorporated (ASC) is an incorporated association with objects to promote information and communications technology [...]

2020-06-29T11:00:35+10:00June 29th, 2020|

COVID ancillary fund guideline changes

In expectation of a marked decrease in community charitable giving following the COVID 19 economic downturn, the government introduced amendments to public and private ancillary fund guidelines with effect from 12 June 2020. Currently, public ancillary funds are required to distribute at least 4% of the value of their funds annually, while [...]

2020-06-29T11:00:27+10:00June 29th, 2020|

Government amends Corporations Act to provide temporary practical COVID relief to companies

With effect from Monday 5 May 2020, the Treasurer amended certain provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) to provide companies with welcome flexibility in how they may hold their meetings and execute documents electronically whilst individuals are subject to social distancing mandates. The amendments will operate for 6 [...]

2020-06-29T11:00:17+10:00June 29th, 2020|

Court confirms Celeste Barber’s bushfire fundraising campaign limited to terms of named fund

During the devastating bush fire crisis which occurred over the summer of 2019-2020, the famed comedian Celeste Barber posted a desperate plea on Facebook for donations to assist with the bush fires.  Her post included a photo showing flames approaching her in-law's property and named the public appeal "Please help anyway [...]

2020-06-29T11:00:02+10:00June 29th, 2020|

Assistant Minister for Charities announces incentives for ancillary funds to boost philanthropy

Following forecasts of a marked decrease in community charitable giving as a consequence of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 crisis[1], yesterday the Hon. Zed Seselja Assistant Minister for Charities announced that the Government will be amending the ministerial guidelines to incentivise ancillary funds to increase their distributions in the [...]

2020-05-07T12:28:51+10:00May 7th, 2020|

Government amends Corporations Act to provide temporary practical COVID relief to companies

With effect from Monday 5 May 2020, the Treasurer amended certain provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) to provide companies with welcome flexibility in how they may hold their meetings and execute documents electronically whilst individuals are subject to social distancing mandates. The amendments will operate for 6 [...]

2020-05-07T12:25:54+10:00May 7th, 2020|
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