Regulation of charities in Victoria

Note: If you are an incorporated association that is also registered with the ACNC as a charity, your reporting requirements may be changing.

As part of the ACNC’s work to streamline reporting and cut red tape, many of Victoria’s incorporated associations now have the option to report only to us – via the Annual Information Statement – instead of reporting to both the ACNC and Consumer Affairs Victoria.

To learn more, refer to the section on Incorporated Associations below.

Charities registered with the ACNC have ongoing obligations under the ACNC Act. A charity may also have obligations to other Commonwealth, state or local government agencies.

Obligations to the ACNC

If a charity is registered with the ACNC, it has ongoing obligations to maintain registration, including to:

Obligations to other government agencies

A charity may have obligations to and receive benefits from other Commonwealth, state or local government agencies in addition to the ACNC. These may include obligations or benefits related to:

  • its legal structure (for example, as an incorporated association)
  • how it raises money (for example, if it runs raffles or street collections)
  • the exemptions, concessions or other benefits it may receive from government (for example, certain Commonwealth, state and local government taxes) and
  • what it does (which may apply to specific sectors such as aged care, housing, childcare and education).

Some charities also choose to meet voluntary standards set by professional associations or peak bodies such as codes of conduct or codes of ethical practice.

Charities do not have to be registered with the ACNC to be an incorporated association, cooperative or other legal structure, to access Victoria tax concessions or other benefits, or to fundraise in Victoria.

Legal structures

There are several types of legal structures used by charities. Different obligations apply to each type. A charity's legal structure may affect:

  • its reporting and governance requirements to the government agency that incorporated it
  • its ability to operate outside Victoria without further registration
  • its eligibility for certain tax concessions.

The types listed here are examples of the most common legal structures, but there are others (such as trusts and unincorporated associations).

Incorporated associations

Changes to Victorian incorporated association reporting requirements

On 5 June 2018, the Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, the Hon. Marlene Kairouz MP, signed an exemption order that changed the reporting requirements for around 5,000 registered charities that are incorporated associations in Victoria.

Registered charities that are incorporated under the Victorian Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012, with a financial year that ends on or after 30 June 2018, will:

  • Only need to report to the ACNC, using the Annual Information Statement;
  • Not be required to pay an annual fee.

Note: These arrangements do not apply to incorporated associations that form part of a reporting group. And the exemptions will not be available to charities that have been approved by the ACNC to withhold financial details (for example, revenue) or financial reports from the ACNC Charity Register.

And all incorporated associations must continue to submit financial statements to members at Annual General Meetings.

What does my charity need to do?

The ACNC’s 2018 Annual Information Statement is being updated to include extra questions to collect information on behalf of Consumer Affairs Victoria.

For your charity to take advantage of the new streamlined reporting arrangements, it must answer all these additional questions.

The ACNC will then gather your responses to these new questions and pass them on to Consumer Affairs Victoria, so your charity will not have to report separately to both bodies.

Note: If you choose not to answer these questions in the ACNC’s 2018 Annual Information Statement, you will need to continue to submit an annual statement to Consumer Affairs Victoria.

What hasn’t changed

All incorporated associations must still notify Consumer Affairs Victoria of changes to the association’s name, details or rules.

When to contact ACNC or Consumer Affairs Victoria

I want to:
ACNC
Consumer Affairs Victoria
Additional information
Incorporate an association No Yes  
Register as a charity Yes No  
Change a charity’s rules Yes Yes  
Change a charity’s name Yes Yes  
Update a charity’s address or contact details Yes Yes  
Update a charity’s responsible persons (committee members) including the secretary Yes Yes  
Submit the Annual Information Statement and financial report Yes No  
Revoke a charity registration Yes No Don’t forget to revoke the charity’s registration with the ACNC when it winds up
Wind up an association No Yes If the association is no longer running, make sure you wind it up with Consumer Affairs Victoria, too.

To find out more, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website or call 1300 55 81 81.

Cooperatives

A cooperative is a type of organisation that is owned, controlled and used by its members. There are different types of cooperatives.

Charities that are cooperatives are also regulated by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

To find out more, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website or call 1300 55 81 81.

Other legal structures

Information about reporting and other obligations for charities set up with other legal structures is available on these pages:

Fundraising

Fundraising in Victoria is regulated by two government agencies.

Consumer Affairs Victoria is responsible for registering and regulating organisations conducting fundraising activities. To find out more, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website or call 1300 55 81 81.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation is responsible for regulating any fundraising conducted through authorised games, such as raffles. To find out more, visit the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation website or call 1300 182 457.

For more information about fundraising, see Fundraising in Victoria.

State taxes

Charities that operate in Victoria may also be eligible to receive concessions on some state taxes, including payroll tax, land tax and stamp duty from the State Revenue Office.

To find out more, visit the State Revenue Office website or call 13 21 61.

Local government

Some local government authorities may offer concessions to charities. For more information, contact the local government authority in the areas where the charity operates.

You can search a directory of local government authorities in Victoria on the Know Your Council website.

Other general obligations

There are a number of other laws that affect charities in Victoria covering areas such as employment, trading, occupational health and safety and anti-discrimination. For example, charities are obliged to meet obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Some charities may have responsibilities that are specific to their area of work. For example, charities that provide aged care services may need to meet other obligations or hold accreditations as part of working in this field.

Related information

A list of other regulators, including contact details, that may affect charities.

Attention - Important information! Please note: this fact sheet is an overview of laws and regulations affecting charities in Victoria, not a complete guide. For more information about laws and regulations in the Victoria, please consult the relevant regulatory agencies.

Contact the ACNC

Phone: 13 ACNC (13 22 62)
Email: advice@acnc.gov.au
Mail: Advice Services, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, GPO Box 5108, Melbourne VIC 3001
Fax: 1300 232 569


 

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