Tax and accounting bodies have extended R10m worth of volunteer services to the Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) sector, following media reports that revealed widespread non-compliance.
In addition to the volunteer services, First National Bank (FNB) is also making available its Instant Accounting software to the NPO sector. FNB’s Instant Accounting solution will empower community-based organisations to fulfil their fiduciary and legal obligations.
The Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, recently issued a moratorium on the de-registration of NPOs and launched a R2.5m campaign to educate NPOs on their responsibilities.
Stiaan Klue, CE of the South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT) believes that more needs to be done. “The current situation requires immediate and firm intervention by the Minister. It is not only a matter of increasing education as non-compliant NPOs pose a threat to the stability and sustainability of the economy. NPOs must submit key financial information to the Department of Social Development (DSD) and their tax returns to the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Without the required reports, donors, lenders and other authorities will have no reliable information to curb abuse and misleading practices. These reports are crucial to the monitoring and review of the sector.”
Nicolaas van Wyk, CEO of the Southern African Institute for Business Accountants (SAIBA) advises that the “NPO Act requires that community-based organisations keep proper invoicing, asset and other accounting records. Accounting software can be very expensive for small NPOs; therefore we welcome FNB’s contribution to help improve compliance in this sector.”
Both Klue and Van Wyk agree that, “Most NPOs are non-compliant due to limited access to quality services. For this reason the accounting and tax professions have committed to help in any way we can. A platform has been created to provide a free application to connect NPOs with accountants and tax practitioners. We hope that more partners will get on board as we cannot let the situation get out of hand”.
NPOs can apply for the accountancy sector volunteer service and obtain the free FNB accounting software by visiting www.npoassist.co.za