Commonwealth concessions or other benefits

    In addition to tax concessions, charities registered with the ACNC may be eligible to:

    • receive concessions or other benefits under Commonwealth laws, or

    • to provide certain services that allow eligible people who receive these services access to certain benefits.

    The concessions and benefits include the following:

    • Classification Board fee waiver – A registered charity may be able to get a waiver from fees for applications to the Classification Board or the Classification Review Board, available at the discretion of the Director or Convenor (as long as other requirements are met)
    • Customs import duty concession - There may be duty concessions for any goods donated to your registered charity by an overseas person, organisation or company
    • Financial assistance for disability services - If they are eligible services, registered charities may be able to apply for financial assistance for the provision of certain disability services (including employment and advocacy) or research and development activities related to disability, without Ministerial approval
    • Social security benefits and allowances - If your registered charity:
      • offers paid employment to people with disabilities, and this employment is approved as 'sheltered employment', then these employees may be eligible to receive a mobility allowance (if they meet all other requirements)
      • co-ordinates or provides residential care to young people and is an approved care organisation, then these young people may, in certain circumstances, attract family tax benefit and, in some cases, receive a double orphan pension
      • employs live-in care workers, these workers if eligible, may receive fringe benefit tax (FBT) exemption for accommodation, in relation to the income test for the Commonwealth Senior Health Card, family assistance payments and payments under the Paid Parental Leave scheme. For more information about actual benefits available, visit the Department of Human Services website.

    Charities registered with the ACNC may be exempt from certain requirements under Commonwealth laws if they engage in the following activities:

    • providing document exchange services to an employee or member – registered charities may be able to use services other than Australia Post
    • playing sound recordings – only registered charities can play sound recordings in a club or guesthouse without breaching copyright
    • making unsolicited calls – only registered charities can contact numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register
    • sending unsolicited emails – only registered charities can send unsolicited (spam) emails
    • broadcasting – only registered charities are exempt from the regulation of re-transmissions, where these re-transmissions are to obtain or improve reception in a small community
    • discrimination – registered charities may be exempt from breaching discrimination law if they are acting according to their governing rules, which allows them to provide charitable benefits to persons with a particular protected attribute (for example, disability, age or sex)
    • anti-competition or exclusive dealing behaviour – only registered charities may be allowed to enter into agreements that prevent competition or that are exclusive dealings.

    If you collect or hold cash donations for or on behalf of a charity not registered with the ACNC, you may now have new obligations as a 'reporting entity' under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth).

    If you insure the property of a religious organisation that is not registered with the ACNC, you may now have new obligations as a 'cash dealer' under the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 (Cth). You will also need to consider obtaining an authorisation under section 12 of the Insurance Act 1973(Cth), if you are not already authorised to carry on insurance business under that Act.

    If you think you may be affected by the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 or the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988, contact the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

    If you think you may be affected by the Insurance Act, and need an authorisation, consider seeking your own legal advice or contact the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) for more information.