Charities have an ongoing obligation to report each reporting period. Charities report by submitting an Annual Information Statement (AIS) and an annual financial report (if medium or large in size).

Report according to your charity's 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 over $250,000 but under $1 million
  • Large charities have annual revenue of $1 million or more.

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, through the use of capital or assets, or revenue arising from the contribution of an asset to a charity when certain conditions have been met during the ordinary activities of your charity.

Revenue is usually shown as the top line item in an income (profit and loss) statement. Common examples of revenue for a charity 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).

A small charity has an annual revenue of less than $250 000.

Annual Information Statement

Small charities must submit an Annual Information Statement.

Financial reporting

Small charities:

A medium charity has annual revenue of $250 000 or more, but less than $1 million.

Annual Information Statement

Medium charities need to submit an Annual Information Statement. Since 2014, the Annual Information Statement has included financial questions.

Financial reporting

Since 2014, medium charities have:

A large charity has annual revenue of $1 million or more.

Annual Information Statement

Large charities must submit an Annual Information Statement. Since 2014, the Annual Information Statement has included financial questions.

Financial reporting

Since 2014, large charities:

Accounting and Auditing Standards

Read more about Accounting and Auditing Standards.

Basic Religious Charities

A 'Basic Religious Charity' is a registered charity with the purpose of advancing religion and which meets five other set requirements.

Basic Religious Charities are exempt from answering financial questions in the Annual Information Statement, and are not required to submit financial reports or comply with the ACNC Governance Standards.

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

More information on Basic Religious Charities.

Bulk lodgement

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

Cash and accrual accounting

Cash accounting records revenue when money is received and expenses when money is paid out. Accrual accounting records revenue when it is earned and expenses when they are incurred. More information on cash and accrual accounting.

Group reporting

Charities can report as a group in two ways - as part of a 'joint reporting' arrangement, or a 'collective reporting' arrangement. More information on group reporting.

Review and audit of financial reports

Generally speaking, medium-sized charities can choose to have the financial reports they submit to the ACNC either reviewed or audited. Large charities must have their financial reports audited and submit the financial report and auditor’s report to the ACNC. More information on review and audit.

Transitional reporting

Transitional reporting arrangements allow the ACNC to accept reporting originally prepared for other government agencies. These include:

  • Financial reports lodged by some incorporated associations, co-operatives and fundraisers with state and territory regulators where streamlined reporting arrangements are not yet in place.
  • Financial questionnaires and statements lodged by non-government schools with the Federal Department of Education and Training.
  • Annual returns and financial reports lodged by Indigenous corporations with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.

More information on transitional reporting arrangements.

External Conduct Standards

The four ACNC External Conduct Standards apply to overseas activities of charities.

From 30 June 2020, charities are required to confirm in their Annual Information Statements whether the External Conduct Standards applied to them in the previous financial year, and, if so, whether the charity complied with the standards.

More information on the External Conduct Standards.

Withholding information

In certain limited circumstances, charities can request that the ACNC withhold details about their organisation so that this information does not appear on the ACNC Charity Register.

More on withholding information from the Charity Register.

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 ATO removing your charity’s entitlement to charity tax concessions.

More information on failing to submit Annual Information Statements.