Your ACNC obligations in a nutshell

Charities must meet ACNC obligations to remain registered. Here they are:

Keep charity status
A charity must make sure it continues to be entitled to registration under the ACNC Act. This includes meeting all of the criteria for initial and ongoing registration, including that it:
  • Continues to be a charity, which means it must: remain an NFP and have a charitable purpose, which is for the public benefit and complies with the governance standards and, if applicable, external-conduct standards
  • Has an Australian business number, and
  • Is not involved in terrorist or other criminal activity.
Keep records
Charities must keep financial and operational records.
A charity’s financial records need to record correctly and explain its transactions and financial position. These records must also allow the charity to prepare true and fair financial statements.
A charity must also keep operational records that explain its activities.
Charities operating overseas have specific record-keeping requirements for their overseas activities and resources sent overseas.
Notify the ACNC of changes
Charities have a duty to notify the ACNC of changes to their legal name, address for service, responsible people (those who are members of a charity’s governing body, including directors or committee members, or its trustees) and governing document.
Charities should notify the ACNC of changes as soon as they reasonably became aware of the change to their details, but no later than 28 days for medium and large charities and 60 days for small charities.
They must also notify the commission if they think they are failing to meet obligations in a significant way, and, as a result, they are no longer entitled to be registered.
Report annually
Charities must report annually to the ACNC (except charities that are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations).
Charities must submit an annual information statement, which is due within six months of the end of a charity’s reporting period and is submitted online in the charity portal. Some charities are also required to submit an annual financial report.
Except for basic religious charities, charities must comply with the ACNC’s governance standards. These set out minimum standards to help promote public trust and confidence in charities.
Charities that operate overseas (including sending funds) must comply with the ACNC’s external-conduct standards. These require charities to take reasonable steps to ensure appropriate behaviour, governance, oversight, and record-keeping when undertaking activities or providing resources overseas.