Charities have several reporting obligations to the ACNC.

Some of them cover ongoing operational reporting and record keeping to ensure charities comply with the ACNC Governance Standards and, if applicable, External Conduct Standards.

In addition, and in order to retain their registration, charities must report annually to the ACNC.

Charities' annual reporting obligations are dependent on their size - small, medium or large.

Charities fulfil their annual reporting obligations by submitting an Annual Information Statement, as well as an annual financial report (if medium or large in size).

Reporting and charity size

Your charity's financial reporting and other obligations to the ACNC depend on whether it is considered a small, medium or large charity.

The size of your charity is based on its total annual revenue for the period upon which it is reporting.

  • Small charities have annual revenue under $250,000
  • Medium charities have annual revenue of $250,000 or more but under $1 million
  • Large charities have annual revenue of $1 million or more.

What is revenue?

Revenue is a component of total income.

A simple formula to help charities understand this is:

Revenue + Other Income = Total Income.

Revenue is realised from the sale of goods or services, or through the use of capital or assets. Revenue can also arise from the contribution of an asset to a charity when certain conditions have been met during the charity's ordinary activities.

Revenue is usually shown as the top line item in an income (profit and loss) statement. Common examples relevant to charities include:

  • grants from government, foundations, private or any other sources
  • donations, tithes, bequests or legacies
  • fees for provision of services
  • sale of goods
  • inflows from fundraising activities or sponsorship
  • interest earned on investments, dividends
  • royalties and license fees
  • in-kind donations (for example, volunteer time or goods).

Small charities are those that have an annual revenue of less than $250,000.

Annual Information Statement

Small charities must submit an Annual Information Statement. The Annual Information Statement asks a charity to provide information about its operations, programs and finances.

Visit www.acnc.gov.au/ais for more on the Annual Information Statement - including links to Annual Information Statement guides and resources.

Financial reporting

Small charities:

For small charities, submitting an annual financial report is optional, although the ACNC encourages them to do so. And if a small charity's governing documents require it to submit financial statements, it must do so.

Medium charities are those that have an annual revenue of $250 000 or more, but less than $1 million.

Annual Information Statement

Medium charities must submit an Annual Information Statement. The Annual Information Statement asks a charity to provide information about its operations, programs and finances.

Find out more about the Annual Information Statement - including links to Annual Information Statement guides and resources.

Financial reporting

A medium charity:

Large charities have an annual revenue of $1 million or more.

Annual Information Statement

Large charities must submit an Annual Information Statement. The Annual Information Statement asks a charity to provide information about its operations, programs and finances.

Find out more about the Annual Information Statement - including links to Annual Information Statement guides and resources.

Financial reporting

A large charity:

Annual Information Statement due dates

Generally, all charities must submit their Annual Information Statement within six months from the end of their reporting period.

The two most common reporting deadlines are:

  • 31 December for charities reporting to a regular financial year (1 July to 30 June)
  • 30 June for charities using a calendar year reporting period (1 January to 31 December).

The standard ACNC reporting period is the financial year, 1 July to 30 June. If your charity uses a different reporting period, you need to request to use this reporting period for your Annual Information Statement.

You only need to tell us once about your different reporting period. This will help the ACNC know when your reporting obligations are due, and help us to send you reminders at the right time.

More information on reporting periods.

Failure to submit an Annual Information Statement

If your charity does not submit its Annual Information Statement and takes no action to try to do so, the ACNC will:

  • issue penalty notices if we find your charity is deliberately not meeting its obligation to report, and/or
  • publish a statement that your charity’s Annual Information Statement is overdue on the ACNC Register. This will appear on your charity’s entry on the Register if it fails to submit for more than six months after the due date.

The ACNC can impose penalties on charities that fail to submit their Annual Information Statement on time.

When your charity submits its Annual Information Statement, the ACNC Register details will be updated, and the overdue statement will be removed.

If your charity does not submit an Annual Information Statement for two or more years, demonstrating persistent non-compliance, the ACNC will progress towards revoking its registration.

This will result in the Australian Taxation Office removing your charity’s entitlement to charity tax concessions.

More information on failing to submit Annual Information Statements.

Other reporting information

Basic Religious Charity

A charity that meets the requirements to be classified as a Basic Religious Charity may be exempt from certain reporting obligations, including the need to submit financial reports as a part of reporting to the ACNC.

However those basic Religious Charities that operate overseas will be required to comply with the ACNC’s External Conduct Standards.

Bulk lodgement and group reporting

Bulk lodgement is a process that allows eligible charities to submit more than one Annual Information Statement on behalf of multiple registered charities on a single form.

Group reporting sees eligible charities able to report as a group in one of two ways - as part of a 'joint reporting' arrangement, or a 'collective reporting' arrangement.

Charities can apply to submit their Annual Information Statements in bulk or as a group in certain circumstances.

Transitional reporting

The ACNC has arrangements in place with several government agencies to help charities streamline their reporting burden.

These arrangements aim to reduce the reporting burden on charities that report to other agencies and give charities extra time to comply with new requirements.