Registration Reform: Streamlining the Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Registers
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Refining and Improving Our Tax System) Act 2023 (Cth) (the Act) has now passed both houses of parliament and received royal assent. The Act amends the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth), by transferring the administration of four Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) categories to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), which already administers 48 of the 52 DGR eligibility categories. The Act also repeals the requirements for each of the relevant Ministers to maintain separate DGR registers.
The amendments will take effect from 1 January 2024. The four DGR registers and categories affected by the change are:
- Environmental Organisations;
- Harm Prevention Charities;
- Cultural Organisations; and
- Overseas Aid Funds.
These amendments will streamline the application process for DGR endorsement and reduce the time taken to register as one of these types of entities from 1-2 years to only 1-2 months. This is consistent with the timeframe for all other DGR endorsement applications, and will further reduce the regulatory burden imposed on these charities by aligning their reporting requirements with those that apply to other types of DGR categories.
The amendments will not otherwise impact DGR eligibility criteria – although, we understand the Federal government is considering further DGR reform which may be required to better reflect community developments and expectations in this space. For now, transitional arrangements under the Act ensure that these organisations (which are currently listed on one of these four registers, or have applied to be listed) are not adversely affected – the DGR endorsement for currently listed charities will continue, so long as they continue to meet the existing eligibility criteria.