Charity tax concessions available

Apply when you register

The ACNC's online registration process allows you to also apply for tax concessions from the ATO in the same form.

There are a number of tax concessions available to charities. These include tax concessions from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and from state, territory and local governments. The ACNC registers organisations as charities for Commonwealth purposes while the ATO remains responsible for administering tax law, including deciding your organisation's eligibility for tax concessions.

Your organisation must be registered with the ACNC to apply for charity tax concessions from the ATO. It does not need to be registered with us to access state, territory or local government tax concessions.

Applying for tax concessions from the ATO

Your charity must be registered with the ACNC before it can receive charity tax concessions from the Australian Taxation office (ATO). Many charities may also be eligible to apply for deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. Some DGR categories are only available to registered charities.

You can apply for charity tax benefits including DGR status with the ATO when applying to register with the ACNC.

After we have decided your charity status, we will pass on your application for tax benefits including DGR status to the ATO. The ATO will decide whether your organisation is eligible. Some tax concessions (see additional tax benefits, below) are only available from the ATO if you register as a particular type of charity with us.

You can also apply to the ATO for tax benefits including DGR status at a later date if you do not want to apply when registering with us.

What happens next?

The ATO accepts our decision on charity status and decides which tax concessions your charity is entitled to, depending on your charity's registered charity type. The ATO may also have additional requirements (special conditions) that you must meet before you receive particular tax concessions.

The ATO provides a guide called Tax basics for non-profit organisations, which includes a summary of the types of concessions available to charities. You may also like to read their guide for endorsement to access tax concessions.

Charity tax concessions

All charities that register with the ACNC can apply for these tax concessions.

Income tax exemptions and franking credits

Income tax applies to any taxable income received by an organisation. All charities registered with the ACNC may apply for income tax exemption, which means your charity would not have to pay income tax. If your organisation is an income tax exempt fund (ITEF), find out about the ACNC and ancillary funds.

Charities that are recognised (endorsed) by the ATO as exempt from income tax may also be eligible to receive refunds on franking credits. This applies if your charity holds shares in a company that provides franked dividends. The ATO provides further information about how to access refunds on franking credits.

Goods and services tax concessions

Goods and services tax (GST) is a tax on transactions. Where goods and services are sold, the amount received for the sale may be subject to GST. Similarly, where goods and services are purchased, the purchaser may be able to claim a GST credit for the GST included in the amount paid. Charities that are registered with the ACNC may apply to access a number of GST concessions if they are also registered for GST.

Fringe benefits tax rebates

Fringe benefits tax (FBT) is a tax paid on any benefits that an employer provides to their employees outside their salary or their superannuation, such as the use of a work car, phone or any other benefit.

If your organisation is a registered charity (other than a registered charity that is an institution established by a law of the Commonwealth Government, a state or a territory) it may apply for the FBT rebate (capped at $30 000).

Additional charity tax benefits

You can apply for tax benefits additional to those listed above if your charity is registered as a:

Fringe benefits tax exemptions

Fringe benefits tax (FBT) is a tax paid on benefits that an employer provides to their employees outside their salary or their superannuation, such as the use of a work car, phone or any other benefit.

Public benevolent institutions, health promotion charities, not-for-profit hospitals and some charities advancing religion can access FBT exemptions.

For example, if your organisation is a registered public benevolent institution or health promotion charity, it may apply for the FBT exemption (capped at $30 000).

Deductible gift recipient (DGR) status

As well as applying for the tax concessions listed above, charities can apply for DGR status when registering with the ACNC.

The benefit of being a deductible gift recipient is that donations made to your organisation may be tax deductible. If a donation is tax deductible, donors can deduct the amount of their donation from their taxable income when they lodge their tax return.

Donors can find out more about making tax deductible gifts and contributions on the ATO's website.

Attention - Important information!Some DGR categories are only available to registered charities.

If your organisation is a charity that wants to apply for DGR status, you will need to be registered with the ACNC first.

All DGRs should review whether they are required to register with the ACNC by following the guidance provided by the ATO, above. For a short summary, you can also read our factsheet on DGRs.

Tax concessions from state, territory and local governments

There are a number of tax concessions available to charities from state, territory and local governments. Your organisation does not need to be registered with the ACNC to receive state, territory or local government tax concessions.

Concessions may be available on taxes like stamp duty (a tax on some financial and property transactions), payroll tax (a tax on wages that exceed a certain threshold paid by employers) and land tax (a tax on land owners). Each state and territory has different requirements for accessing these concessions.

Local governments may also give concessions to charities (for example, on rates).

To find out more about how to access concessions available to your charity, contact your local government or your state or territory revenue office.