Show download pdf controls
  • Who should use this guide



    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

    End of attention

    Use this guide if you are a financial officer, tax professional or other person involved in the administration of a taxable non-profit organisation.

    For this guide to apply to your organisation, your organisation must be both:

    • not-for-profit
    • taxable.

    For examples of the types of organisations covered by this guide, see the Industry codes table.

    Work out if you need to lodge a company tax return

    When you have established that this guide applies to your organisation, the next step is to confirm that your organisation needs to lodge a tax return. This depends on your organisation’s taxable threshold and taxable income.

    Complete your company tax return

    When you have established that you need to lodge a company tax return, the next step is to complete your company tax return. While the Company tax return instructions 2013 provide a lot of useful information, we also provided instructions specifically for your taxable non-profit organisation.

    Our example, the Celadon Club, builds on a case study from Mutuality and taxable income. It shows how the club would complete their company tax return labels.


    The basic premise of a non-profit organisation is that it is not operating for the profit or gain of its individual members, whether these gains are direct or indirect. This applies both while the organisation is operating and when it winds up.

    Any profit made by the organisation goes back into the operation of the organisation to carry out its purposes and is not distributed to any of its members.

    The ATO accepts an organisation as non-profit where its constituent or governing documents prevent it from distributing profits or assets for the benefit of particular people. These documents should contain acceptable clauses showing the organisation’s non-profit character. The organisation’s actions must be consistent with this requirement.


    Non-profit organisations can be either exempt or taxable.

    Many non-profit organisations are taxable and may need to lodge tax returns and pay income tax.

    If your non-profit organisation is not exempt from income tax, it is taxable. Only certain types of non-profit organisations are exempt from income tax.

    Organisations not covered

    This guide does not cover:

    • partnerships
    • strata-title bodies corporate
    • friendly societies
    • life assurance companies
    • life insurance companies
    • mutual insurance companies
    • credit unions.
      Last modified: 10 Feb 2017QC 37432