Seven Highlights from the Fourth International Conference of Charity Regulators

Donation box

The International Conference of Charity Regulators met for three days in May of this year. Represented were Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and the U.S. hosts. The festivities were in Washington, D.C.

This seven-page summary has been circulating. I decided to pick out a few highlights for your consideration.

  • Canada used to have a rule that charities disburse 80% of their contributions, presumably annually. There is still a requirement to spend 3.5% of “investments.” Anyone able to tell us more about this? (page 2)
  • IRS can now make additional disclosures to states. That intrigues me. What have they been sharing with the states and what’s been added? (page 3)
  • Australia has no annual filing requirement. Nothing akin to IRS Form 990. You’ve got to be that smart to have country and continent status. (page 4)
  • “IRS believes that transparency, good governance and tax compliance go hand in hand.” That’s not a new statement. It is the rationale for the expansion of Form 990 two years ago. (page 4)
  • Processing of applications to IRS for tax-exempt status takes 112 days this year. Their way of discouraging formation of new charities? (page 5) (Aside from this conference, I had seen IRS talking about an online version of Form 1023, the application for tax-exempt status. I don’t know where that initiative stands.)
  • The Canadian Charities Directorate is the only office with a significant initiative to educate the public. Its counterparts are focused on training charities and their leaders. (page 5)
  • Internationally, regulators believe government oversight of charities will increase, particularly in transparency, compliance and use of resources. (page 7) Were you looking for a reason to retire early?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.