Charities exempt from ASIC fee for service levy

Registered charities will continue to enjoy fee-free regulation after securing an exemption from the annual levy the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has started charging for its regulatory services.

This was confirmed with the recent release of the ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery Levy Amendment (Enhancements) Regulations 2018.

It also follows a submission made by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), supported by Governance Institute to the Treasury Consultation for these regulations in May 2018, urging that charitable companies be excluded from paying the annual levy.

The ACNC argued that the levy was ‘disproportionate to ASIC’s actual regulatory oversight of charitable companies’ given the ACNC’s role as principal regulator of companies that are registered charities.

Under the regulations, companies limited by guarantee that are also registered charities with the ACNC will be exempt from having to pay the levy for a financial year if they were registered with the ACNC on 30 June of that year.

The change will save charities around $321 that they would have had to pay for ASIC’s new industry funding model.

Announcing the changes, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer said the government would absorb ASIC’s costs of regulating the charities sector.

‘As a result of this decision, over 8,000 incorporated registered charities can now direct the fees they would have had to pay to ASIC towards charitable purposes,’ she added.

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