A trust is a legal structure that holds and uses funds, property or other assets for its beneficiaries. Trusts are managed by trustees.
There are different types of trusts, and some trusts can be registered as charities with the ACNC.
Trusts registered as charities are often known as charitable trusts.
To be eligible for charity tax concessions from the Australian Taxation Office, a trust must be registered as a charity.
Registering a trust as a charity
To be registered as a charity, a trust must meet the legal meaning of charity, and our requirements for registration.
Requirements to register as a charity
In summary, to be registered as a charity, a trust must:
- be not-for-profit
- have only charitable purposes that are for the public benefit
- not have a disqualifying purpose
- not be an individual, a political party or a government entity.
See more information on these requirements for registration.
Requirements to remain registered as a charity
All registered charities - including charitable trusts - must comply with certain ongoing obligations to remain registered.
These include to:
- notify us of certain changes
- keep records
- report to us each year by submitting an Annual Information Statement
- comply with Governance Standards.
- comply with External Conduct Standards (if operating or sending funds outside of Australia)
Notifying us of changes includes any changes to the charitable trust’s Address For Service, its Responsible People (the trustees) and its governing document (the trust deed).
See more information about ongoing obligations to the ACNC.
Trust no longer operating
If a charitable trust ceases operations, it must apply to have its registration as a charity revoked. Do this through the Charity Portal.
In winding up, a trust must follow its rules, as well as all legal requirements. It may have obligations to other regulators as well as the ACNC.