Private Ancillary Funds: What you might have missed

Private Ancillary Funds: What you might have missed

With all the excitement in the lead up to Christmas last year, Treasury’s release of Exposure Draft legislation on the proposed amendments to the Private Ancillary Fund (PAF) Guidelines may have slipped under the radar.

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PAFs are special funds (i.e. a form of charitable trust) that provide a link between people who want to give and organisations that can receive tax deductible donations as deductible gift recipients. Since their introduction in 2001 (formerly called Prescribed Private Funds), PAFs have grown to hold over $4 billion in assets.

Key changes under the proposed amendments include:

  • removing the requirement to distribute at least 5 percent of the market value of the PAF’s net assets, and rather the minimum annual distribution rate would broadly be the PAF’s net investment earnings
  • removing red tape from certain reporting requirements by eliminating the need to provide materials to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in addition to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
  • permitting small PAFs with both revenue and assets of less than $500,000 to seek a review of its financial report rather than a costly audit
  • introducing greater flexibility in the transfer of net assets, from one PAF to another, to facilitate the portability of funds between trustees and managers.

These amendments are proposed to commence on 1 July 2016.

Trustees should review the proposed amendments to determine the impact for existing PAFs. For those contemplating the establishment of a PAF, the proposed amendments may provide greater flexibility and provide a simpler regulatory environment in which to operate.

Interested parties are invited to provide their comments on the exposure draft amendment guidelines and explanatory statement.

Submissions close on Friday 12 February 2016.

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