2013 Annual Information Statement guide

Attention - Important information!The 2013 Annual Information Statement is the only reporting obligation that all registered charities have for the 2013 reporting period.

Who this guide is for

This guide will help people completing the 2013 Annual Information Statement for their charity. It explains each question in the Annual Information Statement. The preview is available to help you prepare prior to starting, and accompanies the guide. This preview cannot be submitted.

Some key terms, like 'responsible person', are also explained in the ACNC glossary. In this guide, when we refer to ‘financial year’, this has the same meaning as ‘reporting period’ on our website. For example, when the questions refer to ‘the last financial year’, this is your charity’s 2013 reporting period.

No annual financial report required for 2013

The only annual reporting requirement that all registered charities must meet for the 2013 reporting period is to complete the mandatory questions (Sections A to C) in the 2013 Annual Information Statement. The statement only asks for basic non-financial information. However, if you wish, you can voluntarily submit your 2013 financial reports with your Annual Information Statement online and we will publish them on the ACNC Register.

Charities who may not need to submit an Annual Information Statement

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations

Charities regulated by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) do not need to submit an Annual Information Statement and financial report.

Read more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations.

Asking to withhold information from the Register

Information you submit in the 2013 Annual Information Statement will automatically appear on the public ACNC Register within 24 hours, unless you apply to withhold information from the Register through the Charity Portal.

Not all information can be withheld. You must supply a full copy of the information you wish to have withheld (for example, donor information or financial information (such as completed financial reports)) and be prepared to provide detailed reasons and any relevant supporting documents, or we will be unable to consider your request. Read more about withholding information.

2013 Annual Information Statement questions

Does your charity have a financial year ending 30 June?

Before you start the Annual Information Statement we need to know when your reporting period (financial year) end date is. Read more about reporting due dates.

Section A: Charity information

1. What is your charity’s Australian Business Number (ABN)?

We use your charity’s ABN as a unique reference number for your charity. The ABN will be included on your activity statement (if your charity submits one to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)). You can also look up your ABN on the ABN Lookup website at ABR Business.

2. What is your charity’s legal name?

This is the formal legal name of your charity that appears on its legal or other official documents. It is not a trading name or an abbreviation.

Attention - Important information!Your governing documents (such as your charity’s rules, constitution, trust deed, or Act of Parliament) or your certificate of incorporation are likely to include your charity’s legal name.

3. Are there other names your charity is known by (such as a trading name)?

Tell us any other names that your charity is publicly known by, apart from its legal (or formal) name. For example, your charity may have incorporated as ‘Charity name Inc.’ but it is known in the community and provides services as ‘Careful Care’.

4. What is your charity’s address?

Please provide your charity’s:

  • email address (if any)
  • postal address (such as a PO box address)
  • business address (street address where your charity operates from). This may be the same as your postal address.

Both the email address and business address will appear on the ACNC Register so make sure you put down the details that you want the public to use to contact your charity. You may not want the name of an individual in a contact email for your charity, so give thought to which email address you use.

Note: Your charity’s address for service under question 5 will also appear on the ACNC Register.

5. What is your charity’s contact and address for service?

Please also tell us how you would like the ACNC to contact your charity. This includes the:

  • name and details of the contact person at your charity for the ACNC to send all correspondence (including legal documents). This person’s details will not appear on the ACNC Register
  • address that the ACNC will send all correspondence (including legal documents). This will appear as your charity’s ‘address for service’ on the ACNC Register. If you provide an email address, the ACNC will use this as the primary ‘address for service’. Your ‘address for service’ may be the same as your postal address and/or business address provided in question 4. If you are using an address other than an email as your address for service, it must be one that is in Australia.

6. Does your charity have a financial year ending 30 June?

The usual reporting period under the ACNC Act is the financial year 1 July to 30 June. If your charity's financial year is different, answer ‘No’ to this question and enter the end date of your charity’s financial year. The date format is DD/MM.

If you use a different financial year and have not let the ACNC know, you should apply to the ACNC to request a substituted accounting period before you submit your Annual Information Statement for the first time. Use Form 4A: Request a substituted accounting period to do this.

7. Based on your revenue for the last financial year, is your charity:

  • a small charity (revenue less than $250,000),
  • a medium charity (revenue of $250 000 or more, and less than $1 million), or
  • a large charity (revenue of $1 million or more)?

‘Revenue’ means your charity’s annual gross revenue. For more information, refer to our Charity size and revenue factsheet.

The size of your charity affects:

  • how quickly you need to notify us about changes to your charity
  • the amount of any administrative penalties that may apply
  • whether you will be required to provide financial reports for the 2014 financial year onwards, and
  • whether your financial report (required for the 2014 financial year onwards) needs to be reviewed or audited.

8. What are the charitable purposes of your charity?

Select each box that reflects your charity’s charitable purposes. Charitable purposes are usually set out in the objects or purposes clause in your charity’s governing documents.

Use the ‘Other’ text box to provide a brief description of purposes that are not provided for in the boxes. A single word or phrase is adequate.

When you complete this question, record all of your charity’s charitable purposes. It is possible that only some of your charity’s purposes have been recorded in the past.
If your charity’s governing rules or purposes change during the year, don't forget to notify the ACNC about the change.

9. If your charity’s charitable purpose is the advancement of religion, do you meet the criteria of a ‘basic religious charity’, as set out in the ACNC Act?

If your charity is registered with the ACNC for the ‘advancement of religion’, answer the following checklist of questions to work out if it is a basic religious charity. Examples of religious charities include religious congregations, religious education bodies and funds for establishing and maintaining religious buildings.

Read more about basic religious charities.

Read our religious charities factsheet.

Basic religious charity checklist

If your charity can answer ‘no’ to all of the questions it is a basic religious charity.

If your charity can answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions, it is not a basic religious charity.

a) Could your charity be registered as any other subtype of charity?
For example, setting up a separate school as part of promoting religious principles in a religious community would likely be for the separate charitable purpose of ‘advancing education’ and would mean that a religious charity could also be registered as the subtype ‘advancing education’.

b) Is your charity incorporated as a company or incorporated association?
If your charity is a charitable trust and has an incorporated trustee, it may still be a basic religious charity if the charitable trust itself is not incorporated.

c) Has the ACNC allowed your charity to report as part of a group?
The ACNC may allow two or more registered charities to report as a group in two ways:

  • Joint reporting – when your charity as part of a group of registered charities submits one Annual Information Statement or financial report
  • Collective reporting – when your charity as part of a group of registered charities submits one or more Annual Information Statements or financial reports on another basis (for example, according to types of activities).

d) Is your charity endorsed as a deductible gift recipient?
Charities that can receive income tax deductible gifts have 'deductible gift recipient status' and are called 'deductible gift recipients' (DGRs).

If your charity is endorsed as a DGR, it is not a basic religious charity. However, your charity can be endorsed to operate DGR funds, institutions or authorities as long as their total revenue is less than $250 000 for the particular reporting period.

Use the ABN Lookup website http://www.abr.business.gov.au or the ACNC website to confirm if your charity has deductable gift recipient status.

e) Has your charity received more than $100 000 in government grants this financial year, or in either of the past two financial years?

Under the ACNC Act, if a charity receives more than $100 000 in government grants in a financial year, it is not a basic religious charity.

10. Is your charity part of a reporting group that has been approved by the ACNC?

The ACNC may allow:

  • two or more registered charities to prepare and submit a single Annual Information Statement (and financial report, where applicable), or
  • a reporting group to prepare one or more Annual Information Statement (and financial report, where applicable) on another basis (for example, according to types of activities).

If your charity has received approval to do this, select ‘Yes’. The terms and conditions for completing your Annual Information Statement will have been provided to you at the time you received approval to report as a group.

Read about group reporting.

Section B: Activities

11. Has your charity conducted any activities in the last financial year?

Activities include both financial activities and non-financial activities. If your charity has not conducted any activities in the last financial year you should select the ‘No’ box. Only some of the questions in this form will apply to you.

The purpose of this question is to identify inactive charities, including new charities that have not started operating yet. If you are not sure whether your charity has conducted any activities, select the ‘Yes’ box and go to question 12.

12. What were your charity's activities in the last financial year?

Please select one main activity and as many general activities as needed.

Use the ‘Other’ text box to briefly describe activities undertaken by your charity that are not listed in the boxes. A single word or phrase is adequate. Only use the ‘Other’ box if you are certain none of the listed activities apply to your charity.

Attention:You need to know! It may be useful to review your annual report or governing document to make sure you capture all of your charity’s activities.

The activities listed are based on the International Classification of Non-profit-organisations, the recommended classification in the United Nations Handbook on Non-Profit Institutions in the Systems of National Accounts.

Attention - Important information!If your charity’s activities included activities overseas, you need to list all of the countries where the activities happened in question 17.

13. Describe how your charity pursued its charitable purpose(s) in the last financial year.

Explain how your charity's activities helped achieve its purposes. This is a chance to tell your story about how your charity achieved its mission, which will be available on the ACNC Register.

Include information that may help your stakeholders (such as donors, volunteers and the people your charity helps) to understand how resources were allocated.

Attention - Important information!You may wish to summarise points from your charity’s annual report here.

We suggest you use less than 1500 characters to answer this question. You can include a link to your annual report at the end of your summary.

14. Is your charity going to change the way it pursues its charitable purposes in the next financial year?

If yes, explain the types of key activities your charity intends to change or introduce during the next financial year that are different to the last.

Include information that may assist your stakeholders (such as donors, volunteers and the people your charity helps) to understand how you intend to allocate future resources.

If you are expecting to pursue your purpose(s) in the same way as the previous year, then select the ‘No’ box and proceed to question 15.

Attention - Important information!If you expect to wind-up or to stop conducting any activities in the next financial year, use this box to explain your future plans and reasons for the expected change.

We suggest you use less than 1500 characters to answer this question.

15. Who was helped by your charity’s activities in the last financial year?

Select a box for each group of people helped by your charity (beneficiaries) during the last financial year. Your beneficiaries may be quite specific, or could be very broad, and include all groups that benefit from your charity’s activities.

Use the ‘Other’ text box to describe additional groups who were helped by your charity that are not reflected in the boxes. A single word or phrase is adequate.

It may be useful to review your annual report or governing documents to make sure you capture all of your beneficiaries.

Attention - Important information!If your charity helped groups of people overseas, you need to list all of the countries where the groups of people live in question 17.

Section C: Resources and operating locations

16. What is the number of paid employees and unpaid volunteers who worked for your charity during the last pay period of your financial year?

If exact figures are not available, please provide your best estimate.

Tell us the number of full-time employees, part-time employees and volunteers who worked for your charity during the last pay period of your last financial year.

Your answer does not have to be exact – use your best estimate in your answer to this question.

Full-time refers to people working more than 35 hours per week. Self-employed people such as consultants and contractors who are not employees of your charity are excluded. Employees working outside Australia for more than 12 months are also excluded.

A volunteer is someone who willingly gives unpaid help, in the form of time, service or skills, to your charity. It includes people receiving honoraria or reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, volunteers who sit on boards of management and volunteers who are members of fundraising committees.

You might have this information in your annual report or organisational chart.

PAYG forms may be a useful source of information about employee numbers.

17. Please indicate where your charity operated during the last financial year.

Select all of the Australian states and territories that your charity conducted charitable activities in during the last financial year.

If your charity conducted charitable activities in external territories, select the state or territory most closely associated. For example, if your charity operated in the Indian Ocean Territories, select Western Australia.

If your charity operated overseas (for example, conducted international activities or helped communities overseas), list each of the countries. This includes countries where you have made grants or donations, or sent people to help overseas communities or other beneficiaries.

If you indicated that you helped communities overseas in question 15, or if you helped any other overseas beneficiaries, then you must list the countries here.

If you believe that disclosing a country where you are undertaking charitable activities could endanger public safety, you can apply to withhold this information.

Only submit your charity’s Annual Information Statement after we confirm that you can do this.

Section D: Reporting and regulatory obligations

Attention - Important information!Questions in this section are optional. Information you provide will help us identify ways to reduce unnecessary regulatory obligations.

18. Did you have a corporate or financial reporting obligation to a Commonwealth department or agency over the last financial year?

This is an optional question where you can tell us about other reporting requirements your charity has to Commonwealth departments or agencies. Tell us the name of the Commonwealth department or agency you reported to and the relevant government program (if applicable). For example: AusAID, Overseas Aid Gift Deductibility Scheme.

You do not need to include obligations to report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The ACNC will use this information to identify ways to reduce duplicative and unnecessary regulatory obligations in the future. We will also be able to share your details with authorised government agencies so that you don't need to provide the Annual Information Statement information multiple times – this is part of the Charity Passport the ACNC is developing.

Consider any one-off or recurring grants you received and had to report on during the last financial year. If you report to another Commonwealth department or agency, the ACNC may be able to treat a statement, report or other document given to that agency as being an ACNC information statement or report. More information is available on our website.

19. Apart from any corporate reporting obligation you may have to a state or territory regulator (under incorporated associations or cooperatives legislation), did your charity report to any state or territory department or agency over the last financial year?

For example, reporting in respect of fundraising or grant acquittals.

This is an optional question. It will tell us about reporting obligations your charity has to state or territory departments or agencies, apart from the reporting obligations you have to your incorporating state or territory regulators. This usually includes reporting your charity must submit in order to conduct fundraising or gaming activities, or to receive government grants.

The ACNC will use this information to identify ways to reduce duplicative and unnecessary regulatory obligations in the future.

Attention - Important information!Consider any one-off or recurring grants you received from a state or territory government and had to report on during the last financial year.

Do not select a state or territory if your charity’s only reporting obligation is to a regulator responsible for incorporated associations. The table on the next page lists the incorporating regulator of incorporated associations and co-operatives for each state and territory.

Corporate reporting obligations by state and territory

Jurisdiction / Legislation

Regulator

New South Wales
Associations Incorporation Act 2009
Cooperatives Act 1992
NSW Fair Trading
Victoria
Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012
Cooperatives Act 1996
Consumer Affairs Victoria
Queensland
Associations Incorporation Act 1981
Cooperatives Act 1997
Office of Fair Trading
South Australia
Associations Incorporation Act 1985
Cooperatives Act 1997
Consumer and Business Services
Western Australia
Associations Incorporation Act 1987
Cooperatives Act 2009
Department of Commerce
Tasmania
Associations Incorporation Act 1964
Cooperatives Act 1999
Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading
ACT
Associations Incorporation Act 1991
Cooperatives Act 2002
Office of Regulatory Services
Northern Territory
Associations Act 2003
Cooperatives Act 1997
Consumer and Business Affairs
* Source: Council of Australian Governments, Regulatory Impact Assessment Of Potential Duplication Of Governance And Reporting Standards For Charities, January 2013, page 20.

Visit our list of state and territory regulators for contact details.

20. If you had corporate or financial reporting obligations to a Commonwealth, state or territory department or agency in the last financial year, how many hours do you estimate your charity spent completing these reporting obligations over that 12-month period?

This is an optional question. It will tell us about the time spent on reporting obligations your charity has to all government regulators, departments and agencies. Include time spent reporting to your Commonwealth, state and territory regulators responsible for incorporated associations, as well as time spent in any other reporting to government (such as writing government grant acquittals, government fundraising reporting, etc). Do not include time taken to meet reporting obligations to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

It will assist the ACNC if you choose to answer this question. Please provide your best estimate. We will use this information to identify ways to reduce duplicative and unnecessary regulatory obligations in the future.

Section E: Declaration

Before you sign the Annual Information Statement, check that you have completed the mandatory questions 1–17 (Sections A to C) or we will not be able to accept your form.

Declaration

The person signing the Annual Information Statement declares that the information provided is true and correct. Before you complete the declaration make sure you have read the privacy statement below and answered all questions correctly.

The following can sign the Annual Information Statement on behalf of your charity:

  • a person, who is:
    • a responsible person, being a member of your charity’s governing body, such as a board or committee member or trustee, or
    • an authorised person, being someone who holds a position in the charity which gives them authority to sign (such as a chief executive officer, chief financial officer or other member of the senior management team)
  • an agent, being someone authorised by the charity to sign this form (such as a lawyer or an accountant). The ACNC Act requires an agent to receive a signed written authorisation signed by your charity, before they can submit a document on behalf of the charity. Download the ACNC's suggested agent authorisation
  • another registered charity ('lodging entity' under the ACNC Act) that can legally change the governing rules of the charity in relation to the topic covered by the form. For example, for religious organisations, the denomination administration office (if it is a registered charity) may be able to change the charity’s rules under canon law.

To submit the 2013 Annual Information Statement you must select which of these categories apply.

Privacy

The information collected in this form is collected for the purpose of administering the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (the ACNC Act). We will use this information collected at Section E: Declaration to process your Annual Information Statement (AIS). If you do not provide us with this information, we cannot process this form. This information will be kept confidential and will not be published on the ACNC Register.

All of the other sections of the AIS (unless withheld) will be published on the ACNC Register as required by section 40-5 of the ACNC Act.

We will use the information collected in the AIS to help us administer the ACNC Act, update our records about your charity and maintain the ACNC Register. Where authorised to do so, we may give this information to other government agencies (for example, through the use of the Charity Passport).

The ACNC’s privacy policy is available on our website (www.acnc.gov.au). The policy contains important information about how you can access and request correction of information we hold about you, how you may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles and how the ACNC will deal with any privacy complaint.

If you have any questions, contact us by email at advice@acnc.gov.au, by phone on 13 22 62 or by post to GPO Box 5108 Melbourne Victoria 3001.

After you submit

After you submit your Annual Information Statement a confirmation screen will appear and you will receive an email to confirm your successful lodgement. The email will contain a PDF link to your completed Annual Information Statement for your charity’s records.

Attention:You need to know! For more information, read our guidance about the Annual Information Statement.