As we step into the final stretch of 2023, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has unveiled a roadmap for the Not-for-Profit (NFP) sector, outlining significant changes and initiatives set to shape the landscape in 2024.
A Shift in Focus:
One notable move is the transition of the NFP Centre from the ATO’s Private Wealth business line to the Small Business line. This shift opens up new avenues for collaboration, given the vast reach of over 4.5 million small businesses employing nearly 7 million people in Australia.
The recent Leadership Conference hosted by the Small Business Executive centred around the theme ‘United through Community,’ echoing the daily reality for those in the NFP Centre. The conference emphasized priorities, challenges, and opportunities, with a particular focus on driving integrity and transparency in the sector.
Commitment to NFPs:
Assistant Commissioner of Small Business, in a post-conference commitment, asserted the growing prominence of NFPs within the community. The commitment revolves around ensuring visibility through a robust self-assessment program, a data-driven assurance initiative, and advocacy aligning with community expectations.
2024: A Pivotal Year:
Looking ahead, 2024 emerges as a pivotal year, marked by several converging activities. Key among these is the introduction of new reporting requirements for self-assessing income tax-exempt NFPs. With finalised questions in the NFP self-review return, the ATO plans extensive communication and engagement to guide the 157,000 NFPs affected by these changes.
A comprehensive public relations pack, including key messages and imagery, has been issued to facilitate communication through various channels, underscoring the commitment to widespread awareness.
DGR Reforms and Integrity Assurance:
The post also sheds light on Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) reforms, scheduled for implementation from January 1, 2024. The ATO will take over the administration of four DGR categories, aiming to streamline processes and reduce administrative complexity.
Associated with these reforms is a keen focus on ensuring DGR-endorsed organisations meet their obligations. A review of the DGR status for 234 listed organizations begins in December, emphasizing the importance of upholding the integrity of the tax system.
Shaping the Future:
The ATO anticipates an exciting year ahead, focusing on strengthening transparency and integrity within the NFP sector. The NFP Stewardship Group is set to meet in Melbourne on November 30, with discussions centring around the progress of the Not-for-profit Sector Development Blueprint. This visionary document aims to guide the NFP and charity sector toward a future that aligns with community needs.
In a nod to the digital age, the ATO has unveiled the refreshed ato.gov.au, designed with client needs in mind. The updated website, a key component of the Digital Strategy 2022-25, promises a contemporary experience. With engagement from over 6,000 clients in its creation, the new site is set to become the ‘default’ on December 4, signalling a commitment to enhanced user experience.
As we approach 2024, the NFP sector in Australia stands at the cusp of transformation. The ATO’s initiatives underscore a commitment to adaptability, transparency, and community engagement. Navigating these changes will undoubtedly require collaboration, communication, and a shared commitment to the greater good. Stay tuned for updates on these developments and the evolving landscape of Australia’s Not-for-Profit sector.