This guide covers the regulation of charities in the Northern Territory, and the obligations specific to those charities.

More information on ACNC-related obligations can be found on our Ongoing Obligations page.

For lists of state, territory and Commonwealth Government agencies with relevance to registered charities, visit our List of Regulators page, and our Other Regulators page.

alert icon If your charity is an incorporated association, its reporting requirements may be changing.

As part of the ACNC’s work to streamline reporting and cut red tape, many incorporated associations in the Northern Territory now have the option to report only to us – via the Annual Information Statement – instead of reporting to both the ACNC and Licensing NT.

Incorporated associations

Some charities in the NT are incorporated under the Associations Act 2003 (NT).These are called 'incorporated associations' and have 'Inc.' or 'Incorporated' at the end of their name.

Incorporated associations in the NT have a number of obligations to the NT government regulator, including keeping appropriate financial records, following their rules and holding annual general meetings. More information about this is available on the NT Government website.

Reporting requirements for incorporated associations

Registered charities that are incorporated associations in the NT can use their ACNC Annual Information Statement to fulfil their reporting obligations to Licensing NT.

This means that by submitting the ACNC’s Annual Information Statement, a charity that is an incorporated association in the NT won’t need to submit a report to Licensing NT or pay Licensing NT’s annual fee. But to be able to do this, the charity’s Annual Information Statement must meet two requirements. It must include:

  • the incorporated association number issued by Licensing NT
  • the annual financial statements (if required by Licensing NT).

Ordinarily, the ACNC doesn’t require a small charity to submit a financial report as part of its Annual Information Statement. But if a small charity wants to take advantage of this reporting arrangement with the NT, it will need to submit one. For medium and large charities, submitting a financial report was always a requirement in the ACNC’s Annual Information Statement.

Financial report requirements

For a charity to take advantage of this arrangement with Licensing NT, the financial report it submits to the ACNC must meet certain requirements.

A small charity needs to submit the financial report ordinarily required of it by Licensing NT.

A medium or large charity must submit a financial report that meet the ACNC’s reporting requirements and the requirements of Licensing NT.

For medium and large charities, this means preparing financial reports in accordance with the Australian Accounting Standards that provide a true and fair view of the charity’s financial situation. This includes applying the mandatory accounting standards for Special Purpose Financial Statements and ensuring statements include comparative figures.

There may be charities that currently do not meet these standards. To support these charities, the ACNC has established a two-year transitional period that will help them work towards meeting the requirements.

The following table summarises the requirements for the 2019 and 2020 reporting periods, as well as later years.

Annual Information StatementFinancial Report (medium and large charities)
2019A medium or large charity can submit a financial report that meets the Licensing NT requirements.
2020

A medium or large charity must submit a financial report that meets the ACNC’s requirements, with the following exceptions:

  • it does not need to provide comparative figures with 2019 (but if comparative figures are not included, a disclosure note must be included to explain why)
  • it does not need to meet the ACNC’s audit requirements (as long as it meets the audit requirements for NT incorporated associations).
2012 and beyond

A medium or large charity must submit a financial report that meets all ACNC requirements. It must:

For more information, visit the Licensing NT website.

Cooperatives

A cooperative is a type of organisation that is owned, controlled and used by its members. There are different types of cooperatives.

Cooperatives in the NT are regulated under the national framework.

To find out more, visit the NT Government website or call 1300 65 44 99.

Other legal structures

Information about reporting and other obligations for charities set up with other legal structures is available on these pages:

Fundraising

There is no legislation in the NT governing fundraising.

Licensing NT is responsible for regulating any fundraising conducted through authorised games, such as raffles. To find out more contact Licensing NT.

For more information about fundraising, see Fundraising in the NT.

Territory taxes

Charities that operate in the NT may also be eligible to receive concessions on some territory taxes, including payroll tax, land tax and stamp duty from the Territory Revenue Office.

To find out more, visit the State Revenue Office website or call 1300 305 353.

Other general obligations

There are a number of other laws that affect the operation of charities in the NT covering areas such as employment, trading, occupational health and safety and anti-discrimination. For example, charities are obliged to meet obligations under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act.

Some charities may have responsibilities that are specific to their area of work. For example, charities that provide aged care services may need to meet other obligations or hold accreditations as part of working in this field.

Please note: this fact sheet is an overview of laws and regulations affecting charities in NT, not a complete guide. For more information about laws and regulations in the NT, please consult the relevant regulatory agencies.

Contact the ACNC

Phone: 13 ACNC (13 22 62)
Email: advice@acnc.gov.au
Mail: Advice Services, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, GPO Box 5108, Melbourne VIC 3001
Fax: 1300 232 569