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  • Important tax matters for Indigenous corporations

    Your Indigenous corporation delivers important services to your community. Managing your money well helps keep those services running.

    If you need help with your corporation's tax affairs, we can help.

    Find out about:

    See also:

    What are the benefits of being a non-profit organisation?

    There are many tax concessions available to non-profit organisations. Some organisations:

    • do not have to pay income tax
    • can receive tax-deductible donations.

    For example, public benevolent institutions and charities may not have to pay income tax or fringe benefits tax, and receive GST concessions.

    Are you paying tax on funding and grants?

    If you receive a grant or funding to run your Indigenous corporation you may need to pay GST. Therefore, you will need to keep some money aside to pay the ATO any tax due on your grant.

    How do you know how much GST to pay?

    As a first step, you should ask us whether you need to pay GST on your grant and what your options are.

    Your corporation may be asked to provide a tax invoice to receive the funding. The tax invoice should include a GST amount owed.

    Sometimes the people giving you the funding will give you a tax invoice that shows how much GST to pay.

    In both cases, the amount of GST will usually be 10 per cent of the grant.

    You have to report these grants in your activity statements and pay the GST.

    Case study

    The newly registered Community Services Aboriginal Corporation provides health, legal and welfare services to its Aboriginal clients. The corporation employs 16 people including a youth justice worker and health and community care workers.

    The office manager, Trish, calls the ATO and finds out the corporation qualifies as an exempt organisation.

    This means the corporation does not have to pay income tax.

    Trish then applies for an Australian business number (ABN) to make it easier for her when dealing with us and other government agencies. She registers herself as the authorised contact so we can call her if we need to.

    Trish has done everything she can to make the corporation run smoothly so they can concentrate on service delivery to members and clients.

    Are you paying super to your staff

    Do you need to pay super?

    Generally, you have to pay super for your employees if they:

    • are between 18 and 69 years old
    • are paid $450 or more (before tax) in salary or wages in a calendar month
    • work full time, part time or on a casual basis.

    How much super do you pay?

    You need to pay a minimum of 9.5% of the amount an employee earns for his or her normal hours of work.

    Where do you pay super contributions?

    You need to pay contributions into a complying super fund or retirement savings account by the quarterly cut-off dates. Your employees can choose the super fund you pay their super contributions into.

    What happens if you don't meet your super obligations?

    If you don't pay your employees super they are entitled to, you'll have to pay a superannuation guarantee charge to the ATO.

    Case study

    Trish knows the corporation has certain duties as an employer, like paying super.

    The corporation's 16 employees all earn over $450 per month, which means super must be paid into a super fund for them to use when they retire.

    Trish calls us to find out how much super the staff need to be paid. She also finds out that staff can choose which super fund they want their money paid into. Once they've told her where they want their money to go, she organises for it to be sent to the super fund.

    She makes sure she lets people know how much super they will be paid because she knows it will help the corporation attract and keep good employees.

      Last modified: 12 Oct 2016QC 24552