About the Annual Information Statement
All registered charities must comply with their legal obligations, including submitting an Annual Information Statement each year.
Who needs to submit an Annual Information Statement
Charities registered with the ACNC must submit an Annual Information Statement every reporting period (unless they have an exception). You can check if your charity is registered by searching for it on the ACNC Register.
If your charity is no longer operating or has been wound up, you should request that your charity's registration with the ACNC be revoked (cancelled). This is a voluntary process, but if you choose to request revocation of your charity's registration, your charity will no longer receive Commonwealth charity tax concessions or other benefits as a registered charity. If its registration is revoked (cancelled) this will be noted on the ACNC Register.
Charities who do not have to submit any or part of the 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
Basic religious charities
Basic religious charities (all sizes) do not need to:
- answer the financial information questions in the 2014 (or any future) Annual Information Statement
- submit annual financial reports to us (even if it is a medium or large charity)
Read about basic religious charities
What is asked for in the Annual Information Statement
The Annual Information Statement includes questions about your charity, its activities, basic financial information (from 2014 onwards) and optional questions to help us understand and reduce the reporting burden on the charity sector as a whole. Some questions are mandatory (you must answer) and some questions are optional (you may choose to answer).
Most charities already collect the information we ask for in the Annual Information Statement, often for their members, funders or to include in their annual reports. To find out more about the questions we ask, read the Annual Information Statement guide.
Medium and large charities need to submit a financial report each year with their Annual Information Statements (from 2014 onwards). Small charities can choose to submit a financial report but it is not compulsory. There are transitional reporting arrangements to support charities transition to the financial reporting requirements.
Read about the transitional reporting arrangements
Why we ask for an Annual Information Statement
We use the information you submit (including financial information) in different ways, including to undertake ‘recognised assessment activities’ as set out in the Commissioner’s Policy Statement: Annual Information Statements.
Once we receive your charity’s information in the Annual Information Statement we:
- publish the information (except some personal information) on the ACNC Register (unless you apply to withhold that information and that application is successful)
- use the information for the purpose of administering the ACNC Act (including assessing your entitlement to registration, and compliance with the ACNC Act – ‘recognised assessment activities’)
- may share that information to other authorised Australian government agencies, removing the need for those agencies to ask you for the same information (the Charity Passport)
- share it with researchers through data.gov.au, contributing to transparency in the charity sector
- analyse it so we can provide simple financial and other information to the charity sector, donors, volunteers and the public, to build greater understanding
- compare information over the reporting periods and monitor trends, to help guide our work with the charity sector.
The Annual Information Statement supports the ACNC to achieve the objects in the ACNC Act to:
- maintain, protect and enhance public trust and confidence in the sector through increased accountability and transparency
- promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the charity sector.
Requesting your information to be withheld from the ACNC Register
The information on the ACNC Register is accessible to the public, who can search it and find out about your charity. If you believe there are valid reasons for us to not publish some of your charity’s Annual Information Statement information you can apply to withhold information from the Register. Not all information can be withheld, only information that fits within certain criteria (such as information that the information is commercially sensitive and there is a risk that publishing it will cause harm). The ACNC may still publish if there is a public interest in doing so that is greater than the risk.
You can apply to withhold information in the Charity Portal. Find out more about how we decide what information to withhold.
When to submit the Annual Information Statement
The usual ACNC reporting period is the financial year from 1 July to 30 June. If you want to report on a reporting period that is not 1 July to 30 June, you are required to apply for a substituted accounting period (SAP).
Read more about reporting due dates and SAPs
Registration within three months of the end of your reporting period
The ACNC only requires Annual Information Statements from the period that a charity registers with the ACNC (that is, the date of decision to allow registration, not any earlier date that a charity may be entitled to registration).
If the ACNC decides to register your charity within three months of the end of its reporting period, you do not need to submit an Annual Information Statement (and financial report if relevant) for that period. For the following reporting period, all you need to do is submit an Annual Information Statement (and financial report if relevant) for the period from the date of registration until end of that reporting period. For example, if the end of your reporting period is 30 June, and is the ACNC registers your charity on 5 April, then you may not need to report until the end of the following reporting period. However, you may voluntarily submit for that period if you choose to and report for a standard reporting period the following year.
Read the Commissioner’s Policy Statement: Annual Information Statements for further information on part year Annual Information Statements.
Who can sign the Annual Information Statement for your charity
ACNC forms can be signed by:
- a responsible person
- an authorised person
- an agent
- 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.
Read more about signing forms
Reporting as a group
If you want your charities to report to the ACNC as part of a group, you must first apply to the ACNC for joint or collective reporting (group reporting). Read more information about group reporting
Bulk lodgement is the process that allows you to submit more than one Annual Information Statement on behalf of multiple registered charities on a single form. This is common for organisations such as a corporate trustee administrating multiple trusts, or a denomination administration office for multiple religious charities. Read more information about bulk lodgement
How to submit
Log into the Charity Portal and submit the Annual Information Statement. We encourage you to complete all previous year statements so you get the benefit of pre-population of your charity’s information into later statements.