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Is my group registered with the ACNC?
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (the ACNC) is the national regulator of charities.
The ACNC affects charities incorporated under state-based regimes (for example incorporated as an incorporated association) and federal regimes (for example incorporated as a company limited by guarantee) differently.
What if our group is an incorporated association and is registered with the ACNC?
If your group is incorporated as an association under a state regime, and is a charity, it will be registered both with the relevant state regulator (such as Consumer Affairs Victoria) and with the ACNC.
Your group must still report to state regulator as per usual (if required), and will also need to report to the ACNC. This means that you will still need to comply with the relevant state laws, and your obligations as a registered charity (discussed further below).
What if our group is a company (eg. CLG) and a charity?
If your group is incorporated as a company*, for example as a company limited by guarantee, and you are a charity registered with the ACNC, reporting is primarily to the ACNC rather than to ASIC.
See the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) website for a table summarising who charitable companies should contact for their reporting obligations.
*Note the above does not apply to Indigenous Corporations that report to ORIC.
What do charities registered with the ACNC have to do?
The fact sheet below describes the reporting requirements for charities. These apply to charities across Australia. The requirements may be in addition to other reporting requirements, in particular for charities that are incorporated associations, some of which need to report to their state regulator and to the ACNC.
Charities that are registered with the ACNC will have to submit
- an Annual Information Statement (AIS), and
- depending on their size, may have to also submit an annual financial report.
There is further information on financial reporting for charities in the fact sheet below.
See the ACNC website for more information on size of charities and how this affects reporting obligations, AIS and annual financial reports.
What else does the ACNC mean for my charity?
Be listed on a public information portal
The ACNC maintains a public register of charities. It contains key details about registered charities and is publicly available. Information on the register includes purposes, contact details, annual reporting information, governing documents, and the names of responsible persons.
Comply with Governance Standards
Registered charities must comply with a set of Governance Standards. See the ACNC website for a description of the Governance Standards.
And External Conduct Standards, if applicable
New External Conduct Standards are now in effect. These apply to charities operating outside Australia, and they operate in addition to the Governance Standards. See the ACNC website for information about the External Conduct Standards.
The ACNC has helpful information on its website, including information on:
- timeline of what charities need to do
- transitional arrangements from Australian Taxation Office to ACNC
- ongoing obligations for charities
- registering as a charity
- tools and resources for charities
- Annual Information Statement Guide
- governance standards, and
- obligations to other regulators.