A 'Basic Religious Charity' is an ACNC category for a particular type of religious charity.
Not all charities that are registered with the charity subtype of ‘advancing religion’ are Basic Religious Charities.
There are six criteria that a charity must meet to be a Basic Religious Charity:
- it cannot be entitled to be registered with any other charity subtype (for example, it could not also be registered with the subtype of ‘advancing education’)
- it is not:
- a body corporate registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (including a Registrable Australian Body)
- an Indigenous corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth)
- a corporation registered under the Companies Act 1985 of Norfolk Island, or
- an incorporated association in any state or territory (including an entity incorporated under Associations Incorporation Act 2005 of Norfolk Island)
- it is not endorsed as a DGR itself (but 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 reporting period)
- it has not been approved to report to the ACNC as part of a group
- it has not received more than $100,000 in government grants in the current reporting period or either of the previous two reporting periods, and
- from March 17 2021, it has joined the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Redress Scheme) if it has been identified as being involved in the abuse of a person either:
- in an application for redress under section 19 of the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Act 2018 (Cth) (Redress Act) or
- in response to a request for information from the National Redress Scheme Operator (Secretary of the Department of Social Services) under section 24 or 25 of the Redress Act.
A Basic Religious Charity has to notify the ACNC of certain changes and submit an Annual Information Statement each year, but it is not required to:
- answer the financial questions in the Annual Information Statement
- submit annual financial reports, 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 (what the ACNC calls a 'Responsible Person').