This guide covers the reporting and other obligations of incorporated associations that are registered charities, and explains when incorporated associations need to contact the ACNC or New South Wales (NSW) Fair Trading. This page also has information about cooperatives and other legal structures, tax concessions, and other obligations that charities may have.

See our guidance about ongoing obligations to the ACNC for information about the requirements that all charities must meet to remain registered.

Some charities in NSW are incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW). These are called 'incorporated associations' and have 'Inc.' or 'Incorporated' at the end of their name.

Incorporated associations have a number of responsibilities such as keeping appropriate financial records, following their rules and holding annual general meetings. These responsibilities are regulated by NSW Fair Trading.

Annual reporting obligations

Charities that are incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW):

  • only need to report to the ACNC using the Annual Information Statement
  • are not required to pay an annual fee.

Associations must provide the following information in the Annual Information Statement:

  • NSW incorporated association number
  • details of the public officer (name, address and email address)
  • date of the annual general meeting
  • whether the charity has five (or more) members
  • whether the charity three (or more) committee members

Medium and large charities must ensure that the financial reports they provide to the ACNC meet all ACNC reporting requirements.

Other obligations

All associations must still notify NSW Fair Trading of changes to the association’s name, details or rules.

When a charity should contact the ACNC or NSW Fair Trading
I want to: ACNC NSW Fair Trading Additional information
Incorporate an association No Yes
Register as a charity Yes No A charity must be approved as an incorporated association before applying to the ACNC.
Change a charity’s rules Yes Yes Before a charity notifies the ACNC of a change to its rules, NSW Fair Trading must approve the change.
Change a charity’s name Yes Yes
Update a charity’s address or contact details Yes Yes
Update a charity’s Responsible People, including the secretary Yes Yes
Submit the Annual Information Statement and financial report Yes No
Revoke a charity registration Yes No A charity must revoke its registration with the ACNC when it winds up.
End an association No Yes If a charity is no longer operating, it must be wound up with NSW Fair Trading.

Cooperatives

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

Charities that are cooperatives are regulated by NSW Fair Trading.

To find out more, visit the NSW Fair Trading website or call 13 32 20.

Other legal structures

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

State taxes

Charities that operate in NSW may also be eligible to receive concessions on some state taxes, including payroll tax, land tax and stamp duty from the Office of State Revenue.

To find out more, visit the State Revenue Office website.

Local government

Some local government authorities may offer concessions to charities. For more information, contact the local government authority in the areas where the charity operates.

You can search a directory of local government authorities in NSW.

Other general obligations

There are a number of other laws that affect charities in NSW 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 Act 2011.

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.

Other regulators

See our guidance about other regulators for information about state, territory and Commonwealth Government agencies that may affect registered charities.