Step 1: Check if your charity is registered with the ACNC
acnc.gov.au/findacharity. If your charity is listed, it is registered. Search the ACNC Register for your charity (by ABN or name) at
The ACNC Register is a publicly searchable database of all charities registered with the ACNC.
Your charity’s ACNC Register listing also includes its Australian Business Number (ABN). Clicking on your ABN as it appears in the register will link to your entry page on the Australian Business Register's ABN Look-up. You can follow this link to view your organisations' charity tax status.
Step 2: Understand information on the ACNC Register
The ACNC Register contains information drawn from charities' Annual Information Statements (AIS), and from other documents like annual reports, governing documents and information previously provided to the ATO.
The Register allows potential donors to view accurate information about your charity, such as its purpose, where it operates, what it does and the names and roles of its Responsible Persons (such as board or committee members, or trustees).
While your charity’s information will appear on the Register, personal information about its Responsible Persons will not appear. And information about your charity can be withheld if the ACNC approves; for example, if it is to protect public safety.
acnc.gov.au/charity. Find out more about information on the ACNC Register by visiting the ACNC website at
Step 3: Check and update your charity’s details
Check contact information and other details
Check that the ACNC has your registered charity’s correct details. You can do this at any time by using our Charity Portal or, after your reporting period ends, by submitting your AIS when it is due. Check we have your charity’s Address For Service correct. That way you won't miss out on important information, as we use this address to contact you and send you formal documents.
Check charity size
Your charity size affects your obligations, such as reporting and the time you have to notify the ACNC of key changes. A ‘small’ charity has annual revenue less than $250,000, a ‘medium’ charity has annual revenue of between $250,000 and $999,999, and a ‘large’ charity has annual revenue of $1 million or more.
Check reporting period
You should also check your charity’s reporting period, as this will affect when it needs to report. The standard ACNC reporting period is 1 July to 30 June, but you can apply to use a different reporting period if required.
charity.acnc.gov.au. You can update your charity’s details by logging in to the ACNC Charity Portal at
Step 4: Understand your charity’s obligations to the ACNC
If your not-for-profit is a registered charity, it has ongoing obligations to the ACNC and must:
- Keep records
- Report by submitting AISs and other information if needed
- Notify the ACNC of changes to its key details
- Remain eligible to be registered, by meeting minimum Governance Standards and other requirements.
Your charity’s obligations depend on its size, based on its annual revenue:
- small – less than $250,000
- medium – between $250,000 and $999,999
- large charity – $1 million or more.
Keep charity records
Your charity must keep financial and operational records. Records must be easy to access and given to the ACNC if we ask for them. Financial records are documents that allow you to:
- explain your charity’s financial transactions and position
- get your charity’s financial statements prepared (and audited, if necessary).
Operational records are any other documents about your charity’s operations, such as meeting minutes, reports and written details of your charity’s activities, programs or services. You need to keep records that allow the ACNC to assess whether your organisation:
- continues to be a charity (for example, the documents should show that your activities further your charitable purpose), and
- is complying with its obligations under the ACNC Act and the tax law.
Report charity information
Your charity must submit its AIS once a year, within six months of the end of its reporting period.
You can do this online via the ACNC Charity Portal. The ACNC has also prepared detailed instructions on logging in and accessing the portal.
There is no fee to submit the AIS or any financial reports.
To save you time, we will pre-populate your AIS with information you have previously provided us with.
If there is sensitive information in your statement that you wish to have withheld from the ACNC Register, you need to contact us to request this.
Check your reporting period
The standard ACNC reporting period is from 1 July to 30 June.
If you want to use a different reporting period (for example, a calendar year) you must apply to do this by completing Form 4A: Request a substituted accounting period, available in the ACNC Charity Portal.
You need to provide a brief reason for your request - for example: ‘We have used a calendar year since we started’. This helps us know when your annual reporting is due so we can send you reminders at the right time.
AIS reporting requirements
The amount of information charities need to supply when completing their AIS varies depending on their size or subtype.
Small charities (and Basic Religious Charities) do not need to provide as much information as medium or large charities.
- Small charities and Basic Religious Charities: the AIS includes basic financial questions. You can choose to submit an annual financial report, but this is optional.
- Medium charities: you must submit an AIS and an annual financial report that you can choose to have reviewed or audited.
- Large charities: you must submit an AIS and an audited annual financial report.
acnc.gov.au/managemycharity. Find out more about reporting to the ACNC, including financial requirements, on the ACNC website at
Notify the ACNC of key changes to your charity
Your charity must tell the ACNC if there is a change to its:
- legal name
- Address For Service
- Responsible Persons (such as board or committee members, or trustees)
- governing documents like your constitution, rules or trust deed. Charities must also give us a copy of the changed documents.
Updating your governing documents as needed is an important part of good governance.
It can be a simple task, but even small changes may affect other obligations your charity has, or even its status with the ACNC or the ATO.
Consider getting professional advice before making changes.
Also ensure you follow the correct legal steps to change your governing documents. This includes getting any approval you need from members, and complying with any requirements of other regulators, before informing us of the change.
When to notify us
Small charities must notify the ACNC as soon as they reasonably can, but no later than 60 days after being aware of the change.
Medium and large charities have to notify as soon as they reasonably can, but no later than 28 days after being aware of the change.
Notifying us of failing to meet obligations
All charities must tell us within 28 days if they become aware that they may not be complying with their obligations to the ACNC in a significant way.
An example would be discovering that your charity is not operating for its charitable purpose.
acnc.gov.au/notify. Find out more about notifying the ACNC of changes on the ACNC website at:
If you don’t notify us, there may be penalties.
Stay eligible for registration
At all times, you need to ensure your charity remains entitled to registration with the ACNC by
- continuing to:
- be not-for-profit
- have a charitable purpose, and
- be for the public benefit
- complying with the ACNC Governance Standards
- not being involved in terrorist or other criminal activity.
Meet Governance Standards
Your charity must meet the five minimum Governance Standards that apply to all registered charities except Basic Religious Charities.
These standards aim to maintain public confidence in registered charities by ensuring they manage their affairs openly, use their resources efficiently, manage risks and pursue their charitable purposes.
The standards cover:
- a charity’s purposes and not-for-profit nature
- accountability to members
- compliance with Australian laws
- the suitability of Responsible Persons, and
- the duties of Responsible Persons – the charity must take reasonable steps to make sure those governing it understand their duties and follow them.