This guidance is an overview of laws and regulations affecting charities in Victoria. For more detailed information about the laws and regulations in Victoria, please consult the relevant regulatory agencies.
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 Consumer Affairs Victoria. 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 Victoria are incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic). 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 Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Annual reporting obligations
Most incorporated associations can take part in a streamlined reporting arrangement between the ACNC and Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Associations only need to report to the ACNC using the Annual Information Statement. They will not be required to pay an annual fee or submit an annual statement to Consumer Affairs Victoria.
The Annual Information Statement includes additional information that we collect on behalf of Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Charities must answer these additional questions to take advantage of this arrangement. Charities that do not answer these questions will need to submit an annual statement to Consumer Affairs Victoria.
These arrangements do not apply to associations that:
- form part of an ACNC approved reporting group, or
- have been approved by the ACNC to withhold financial details (for example, total revenue) or financial reports from the ACNC Charity Register.
All associations must continue to submit financial statements to members at annual general meetings.
Medium and large associations must ensure financial reports they provide to the ACNC meet all the ACNC reporting requirements.
To help associations adjust to these requirements, the ACNC has provided a two-year transitional reporting arrangement, covering the 2018 and 2019 reporting periods.
Associations must still notify Consumer Affairs Victoria of changes to the association’s name, details or rules.
When to contact ACNC or Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
|Incorporate an association||No||Yes|
|Register as a charity||Yes||No||A charity must be approved as incorporated associations before applying to the ACNC.|
|Change a charity’s rules||Yes||Yes||
Before a charity notifies the ACNC of a change to its rules, Consumer Affairs Victoria 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 (committee members) 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.|
|Wind up an association||No||Yes||If an association is no longer running, it must be wound up with Consumer Affairs Victoria too.|
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 also regulated by Consumer Affairs Victoria.
To find out more, visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.
Other legal structures
Information about reporting and other obligations for charities set up with other legal structures is available on these pages:
Charities that operate in Victoria may also be eligible to receive concessions on some state taxes, including payroll tax, land tax and stamp duty from the State Revenue Office.
Some local government authorities may offer concessions to charities. For more information, contact the local government authority in the areas where the charity operates.
Other general obligations
There are a number of other laws that affect charities in Victoria covering areas such as employment, trading, occupational health and safety and anti-discrimination. For example, charities are obliged to meet obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (2004).
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.
See our guidance about other regulators for information about state, territory and Commonwealth Government agencies that may affect registered charities.
Charities that fundraise
Fundraising in Victoria is regulated by two government agencies:
- Consumer Affairs Victoria is responsible for registering and regulating organisations conducting fundraising activities.
- the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation is responsible for regulating any fundraising conducted through authorised gaming.
See our guidance about fundraising in Victoria for more information.