A 'Basic Religious Charity' is an ACNC category for particular type of religious charity. Not all charities that a registered with the charitable subtype of ‘advancing religion’ are Basic Religious Charities.

There are criteria that a charity must meet to be a Basic Religious Charity:

  • the charity cannot be registered as any other subtype of charity (for example, could not also be registered for the subtype of advancing education),
  • it is not a body corporate registered under the Corporations Act 2001, an Indigenous corporation (under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006), a corporation registered under the Companies Act 1985 of Norfolk Island, or an incorporated association in any state or territory,
  • it is not endorsed as a DGR itself (however it can be endorsed to operate DGR funds, institutions or authorities as long as their total revenue is less than $250 000 for the particular financial year),
  • the ACNC has not allowed it to report as part of a group, and
  • it has not received more than $100 000 in government grants in the current financial year or either of the previous two financial years.

Basic religious charities have to notify the ACNC of certain changes and submit an Annual Information Statement each year, but they are not required to:

  • answer the financial questions in the Annual Information Statement regardless of size,
  • submit annual financial reports regardless of size, or
  • comply with any Governance Standards.

Also, the ACNC does not have the power to suspend or remove a member of a basic religious charity's governing body (a 'Responsible Person').