About the Annual Information Statement (AIS)

All registered charities must comply with their legal obligations, including submitting an Annual Information Statement (AIS) each year.

Who needs to submit an AIS

Charities registered with the ACNC must submit an AIS every reporting period (unless they have an exception). You can check if your charity is registered by searching for it on the ACNC Register.

If your charity is no longer operating or has been wound up, you should request that your charity's registration with the ACNC be revoked (cancelled) using Form 5A: Application to revoke charity registration.

If you choose to complete this process and request revocation of your charity's registration, your charity will no longer receive Commonwealth charity tax concessions or other benefits as a registered charity. If its registration is revoked (cancelled) this will be noted on the ACNC Register.

Charities which do not have to submit any or part of the Annual Information Statement

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations

Charities regulated by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) do not need to submit an AIS and financial report.

Read more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations

Basic Religious Charities

Basic Religious Charities (all sizes) do not need to:

  • answer the financial information questions in the AIS
  • submit annual financial reports to us (even if it is a medium or large charity).

Read about Basic Religious Charities

Non-government schools

Non-government schools can choose to participate in transitional streamlined reporting arrangements with the ACNC.

Read more about these arrangements with non-government schools

What the ACNC asks for in the Annual Information Statement

The AIS includes questions about your charity, its activities, basic financial information and other questions to help us understand the charity sector and reduce the sector’s overall reporting burden.

Some questions are mandatory, others are optional.

Most charities already collect the information we ask for in the AIS; often for their members, funders or to include in their annual reports. To find out more about the questions we ask, read the 2017 AIS Guide.

Financial reports

Each year, medium and large charities are required to submit a financial report with their AIS. Small charities can choose to submit a financial report, but it is not compulsory.

Why the ACNC asks for an Annual Information Statement

We use the information you submit (including financial information) in different ways, including the undertaking of ‘recognised assessment activities’ as set out in the Commissioner’s Policy Statement: Annual Information Statements.

Once we receive your charity’s information in the AIS we:

  • publish the information (except some personal information) on the ACNC Register (unless you successfully apply to have that information withheld – see more below)
  • use the information for the purpose of administering the ACNC Act (including assessing your entitlement to registration, and compliance with the ACNC Act – ‘recognised assessment activities’)
  • may share that information to other authorised Australian government agencies, removing the need for those agencies to ask you for the same information (the Charity Passport)
  • share it with researchers through data.gov.au, contributing to transparency in the charity sector
  • analyse it so we can provide simple financial and other information to the charity sector, donors, volunteers and the public. This helps build greater understanding of the sector
  • compare information over the reporting periods and monitor trends, to help guide our work with the charity sector.

The AIS supports the ACNC to achieve these objects of the ACNC Act:

  • to maintain, protect and enhance public trust and confidence in the sector through increased accountability and transparency
  • to promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the charity sector.

Requesting your information be withheld from the ACNC Register

The information on the ACNC Register is accessible to the public, who can search it and find out about your charity.

If your charity believes there are valid reasons for us to not publish some of the information it submitted through the AIS, you can apply to withhold information from the Register.  

Not all information can be withheld, only information that fits within certain criteria (such as information that may be commercially sensitive, or if published, might cause harm). The ACNC may still publish this information if the public interest in doing so is greater than the risk.

You can apply to withhold information in the Charity Portal. Find out more about how we decide what information to withhold.

When to submit your Annual Information Statement

The usual ACNC reporting period is based around a regular financial year – 1 July to 30 June. If your charity wants to use a reporting period that is not 1 July to 30 June, you are required to apply for a Substituted Accounting Period (SAP).

Read more about reporting due dates and SAPs

Registration within three months of the end of your reporting period

The ACNC only requires an AIS from the period that a charity registers with the ACNC (that is, the date of decision to allow registration, not any earlier date that a charity may be entitled to registration). 

If the ACNC decides to register your charity within three months of the end of its reporting period, you do not need to submit an AIS (and financial report if relevant) for that period.

For the following reporting period, all you need to do is submit an AIS (and financial report if relevant) for the period from the date of registration until end of that reporting period.

For example, if the end of your reporting period is 30 June, and the ACNC registers your charity on 5 April, then you may not need to report until the end of the following reporting period. However, you may voluntarily submit for that period if you choose to, and report for a standard reporting period the following year. 

Read the Commissioner’s Policy Statement: Annual Information Statements for further information on part-year AISs.

Who can sign the Annual Information Statement on your charity’s behalf

ACNC forms can be signed by:

  • a responsible person
  • an authorised person
  • an agent
  • another registered charity (known as a ‘lodging entity’ under the ACNC Act) that can legally change the governing rules of the charity in relation to the topic covered by the form.
Read more about signing forms

Reporting as a group

If you want your charities to report to the ACNC as part of a group, you must first apply to the ACNC for joint or collective reporting (group reporting). 

Read more about group reporting

Bulk submission

Bulk submission is the process that allows you to submit ten or more AIS on behalf of multiple registered charities on a single form.

This is common for organisations such as a corporate trustee administrating multiple trusts, or for a denomination administration office for multiple religious charities.

Read more about bulk submission

How to submit

Log into the Charity Portal and submit the AIS. We encourage you to complete all previous year’s statements so you get the benefit of pre-population of your charity’s information into later statements.

Important - We will not verify your AIS answers before they are published on the ACNC Register.

After you submit

All of the information you provide will be published on the ACNC Register (unless you successfully apply to withhold some of that information). You can check the Register to make sure your AIS is there.

You will also receive a confirmation email with a link to a PDF copy of your completed AIS. This email will be sent to your charity’s Address For Service email, as well as the email provided in the AIS declaration (if different).

How to correct errors

If you identify a material error in an AIS or annual financial report you have submitted, you must contact us as soon as possible and request the AIS to be reopened again; but not later than 28 days (for medium and large charities) or 60 days (for small charities) after you become aware of the error.

You can contact our advice staff by calling 13 ACNC (13 22 62) or emailing advice@acnc.gov.au.

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