Duty to notify of changes

Charities have a duty to notify the ACNC of changes to their details, including Responsible People and governing documents.

Once you are aware of a change in your charity’s details, you must notify the ACNC as soon as you reasonably can but no later than:

  • 28 days (for medium and large charities) or
  • 60 days (for small charities).

To notify the ACNC of most changes, log in to the Charity Portal and submit the appropriate online form.

Administrative penalties may apply for failing to notify the ACNC.

Note: The ACNC does not charge charities a fee to notify of changes. Notifying the ACNC of changes is free.

You must tell us if any of the following details about your charity change:

  • its legal name (the formal name as it appears on legal or other official documents)
  • its Address For Service (where legal documents can be sent).

i apply form computer icon Notify us by making these changes in the Charity Portal.

Log in to the Portal and select the charity for which you want to make the change. Then click 'Manage other charity details' and find the form you need for the change.

You must tell us if your charity has changed its governing document (for example, its constitution, rules or trust deed). You must give us a copy of the new governing document.

i apply form computer icon Notify us by submitting a copy of the updated governing document in the Charity Portal.

Log in to the Portal and select the charity for which you want to make the change. Then click 'Manage other charity details' and you will see a link to the form for changing a governing document.

If your charity’s governing document has changed because its legal structure has changed, see our guidance on changing your charity's legal structure.

Make sure you follow the right legal steps to change your charity’s governing document.

This may mean complying with requirements from another regulator before notifying us at the ACNC. For example, companies limited by guarantee need to pass a special resolution to make a change, as do incorporated associations in Victoria. Notify us once the changes have formally taken place.

You must tell us each time a Responsible Person (a committee member, board member or trustee) takes on or finishes a role they have as a Responsible Person.

This includes any change in their role (for example, if the Treasurer has been elected as the new Chair of the board).

The name and position of a charity’s Responsible People are listed on the charity’s record on the Charity Register.

i apply form computer icon Notify us by making the changes to the Responsible People in the Charity Portal.

Log in to the Portal and select the charity for which you want to make the change. Then click 'Manage people' and you will see a link to the form you need.

Authorised Person and Primary Contact

A charity may also have an ‘authorised person’ and a ‘primary contact’. These are just administrative roles for dealing with the ACNC.

An authorised person is someone that has the authority to speak to us on behalf of the charity and manage the charity’s details in the Charity Portal. An authorised person may or may not be a Responsible Person. Common examples of an authorised persons are CEO, finance manager and office manager. But it is up to a charity to decide who is authorised to act on its behalf.

A primary contact is someone the ACNC can ask for when contacting the charity. A primary contact may or may not be a Responsible Person. It is up to a charity to decide who is the best person to list as a primary contact for the ACNC.

You can make changes to your charity’s ‘authorised contact’ or ‘primary contact’ in the Charity Portal. These people will not appear on the Charity Register.

The standard ACNC reporting period is the financial year, 1 July to 30 June. Charities that want to use a different accounting period, known as a ‘substituted accounting period’, must make a request to do so.

i apply form computer icon Submit a request for a substituted accounting period in the Charity Portal.

Log in to the Portal and select the charity for which you want to make the change. Then click 'Manage reporting' and scroll down the page. You will see a link to the form for requesting a different reporting period.

When your charity was registered with the ACNC, it would have been registered with at least one ‘subtype’ - a category that reflects a charity's purposes. Charities can have more than one subtype. For more, see our guidance on subtypes.

If you check your charity’s record on the Charity Register, you will be able to see its subtype under the ‘history’ tab.

Sometimes a charity may develop and change its focus and purposes. If it does, it may need to change the subtypes with which it is registered.

i apply form computer icon You can apply for a new charity subtype or to remove a current one in the Charity Portal.

Log in to the Portal and select the charity for which you want to make the change. Then click 'Manage other charity details' and you will see a link to the form for changing a charity subtype.

Note that if your charity's purposes have changed, this needs to be reflected in its governing document. Before approving any changes to a charity's subtypes, the ACNC will need to see evidence of the change. Changes to a charity's subtypes will not appear on the ACNC Charity Register until they have been formally approved.

Before closing your charity, you should request that we revoke its charity registration.

In doing this, you must explain why you want the registration revoked, and we will consider a number of factors in deciding to revoke the registration. One of the considerations is whether the charity has met its reporting obligations. For more, see our policy statement on voluntary revocation.

i apply form computer icon Notify us of your charity closing by requesting that we revoke its registration in the Charity Portal.

Log in to the Portal and select the charity for which you want to make the change. Then click 'Manage other charity details' and you will see a link to the form for having the charity's registration revoked.

Only registered charities receive Commonwealth charity tax concessions, so if your charity has its registration revoked, it will lose these tax concessions.

If your charity has closed or stopped operating, and you did not notify us beforehand, please still notify us in writing, even though in many cases it may not be a legal requirement.

You must also tell us if you think your charity has breached the ACNC Act or not complied with an ACNC Governance Standard in a significant way, and as a result, it is no longer entitled to be registered. An example of this is if your charity changes its purpose and is no longer working towards its charitable purpose.

You must notify the ACNC as soon as you reasonably can, but no later than 28 days after you become aware of the failure to comply.

fact sheet icon To notify us that your charity is not meeting its obligations, complete

Unless we tell you otherwise, ACNC obligations are in addition to any other obligations your charity has under other laws or to other regulators. The ACNC is working with other government departments and agencies to reduce red tape for charities.

Companies limited by guarantee

If your charity is a company registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), registration with the ACNC transfers some of your notification and reporting obligations from ASIC to the ACNC. For more, read our guidance on notifications for companies limited by guarantee.

Indigenous corporations

If your charity is an ORIC-registered Indigenous corporation, you need to continue to notify ORIC of changes. ORIC will share these changes with the ACNC.

There are some changes to your charity’s details that you can notify the ACNC, but these are not mandatory. Read more about when you should contact ORIC or the ACNC.

Incorporated associations

If your charity is an incorporated association you will still have to notify its state or territory regulator for incorporated associations (for example, a fair trading or consumer affairs agency). Read more about obligations to other regulators.