Keep charity status: maintaining your charity's entitlement to registration

Related resources

For more information about eligibility, including the meaning of ‘not-for-profit’, ‘charitable purpose’ and ‘public benefit’, read our detailed guidance on who can register with the ACNC.

Video: Maintaining registration

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A charity must make sure it continues to be entitled to registration under the ACNC Act. This includes meeting all of the criteria for initial registration, and ongoing registration, including that it:

Ongoing entitlement as a 'subtype'

A charity must also make sure it continues to meet the description of the ‘subtype’ of entity (such as a charity for the advancement of education) that it is registered as. This subtype is related to its charitable purpose.

See Charitable purpose and subtypes

Revocation (cancelling) of charity registration

If a charity loses its entitlement to registration, the ACNC may cancel (revoke) its registration and backdate this to the date it ceased to be eligible. Before taking this action, the ACNC would communicate with the charity and discuss the options available.

If a charity does not meet its obligations, the ACNC focuses on guidance and advice to help it. We will use our regulatory powers when it is necessary, to maintain public trust and confidence in the sector.

Compliance and enforcement powers

A charity’s registration may also be affected if:
  • it has breached a section of the ACNC Act (or is more likely than not to), such as failing to notify or report
  • it has not complied with a governance or external conduct standard that applies (or is more likely than not to not comply)
  • the ACNC discovers that the charity provided information that was false or misleading when it applied for registration
  • the registered charity has:
    • a trustee in bankruptcy
    • a liquidator, or
    • a person appointed, or authorised, under an Australian law to manage its affairs because it is unable to pay all its debts as and when they become due and payable.

Read more about the ACNC’s approach to regulating charities, and your rights of review and appeal of our decisions.

Duty to notify of failure to meet obligations

You must notify us if you think your charity is not, in a significant way, meeting its ongoing obligations and, as a result, that your charity is no longer entitled to be registered. Under the ACNC Act you must notify us within 28 days of becoming aware of your charity’s failure to meet its obligations. For example, if your charity changes its purpose so that it is no longer working towards its charitable purpose.

Read more about your charity's duty to notify

Voluntary revocation

A charity can choose not to be registered by requesting voluntary revocation and providing reasons. If a charity has its registration revoked, it will no longer receive Commonwealth charity tax concessions or other benefits or exemptions available to registered charities. The ACNC Register will also show that the charity's registration has been revoked.

The ACNC will not automatically approve the request – we must consider a number of factors before cancelling registration.

Find out more in our policy statement on choosing revocation and apply using the Form 5A: Application to deregister charity [PDF 255KB]