CBAA Conference 2016

Should your station register as a charity?

hfriedlander, 25th November 2016

Should your station register as a charity? The short answer is, yes.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Comission (ACNC) works to improve public understanding of charities and the not-for-profit sector. They aim to support charities through advice and education, using regulatory powers where necessary.

There are roughly 600,000 not-for-profit organisations in Australia but only 54,000 are registered as charities.

The benefits of registering as a charity are:
  • Credibility
  • Access to charity tax concessions and other benefits
  • Visibility, as you will be listed on the national ACNC Charity Register
  • Use of the ACNC online charity portal for ease of updating your station's details
  • Timely advice, guidance and education
  • Over time the reduction of red tape - the ACNC is working with many states to reduce double reporting issues (see if there have been changes to double reporting legislation in your state)
How to be eligible:
  • You must be a not-for-profit organisation
  • You must have a charitable purpose
  • You must benefit the public
  • Have an ABN
  • Meet the ACNC governance standards
  • Serve your community
Things you cannot do:
  • Engage in promoting activites that are unlawful
  • Promote or oppose a political party or a candidate
  • Not benefit a sufficient section of the public
  • Have a non-charitable purpose
  • Tell ACNC if you change your name, address, governing body etc - you can do this through their online portal
  • Manage and report conflicts of interest
  • Keep your records
  • Do not operate if you are insolvent
  • Do not assume that if you are a not-for-profit that you don’t have to look at your tax

You can easily register online with the ACNC to become a charity or read more about what is involved in the process.

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If your station is registered as a charity you can now get a 'tick of charity registration' to help enhance public trust and confidence in your station.


We have made recommendations to the Treasury consultation on ACNC Amendment (2021 Measures No. 3) Regulations 2021 for the harmonisation of higher annual revenue thresholds across jurisdictions.


Since 1 July 2023, there are new requirements for non-charity not-for-profits to submit an annual self-review return, and it’s time to get ready now.