Sporting organisations

Sporting organisations are not-for-profit societies, associations or clubs established for the encouragement of a game, sport or animal racing.

Income tax exemption checklist – Sporting organisations

Your organisation will be exempt from income tax, and can self-assess its exemption, if it meets all of the following requirements:

  • it is a not-for-profit society, association or club
  • it is established for the purpose of encouragement of either of the following  
    • a game or sport
    • animal racing
  • it is not a charity
  • it meets one of the three following tests
    • physical presence in Australia test
    • DGR test
    • prescribed by law test
  • it complies with all the substantive requirements in its governing rules
  • it applies its income and assets solely for the purpose for which it is established.


The main purpose of the society, association or club must be encouragement of a game, sport or animal racing. To work out your organisation's main purpose, look at its constituent documents, activities, use of funds and history. Any other purpose of the organisation must be incidental, ancillary or secondary to encouragement of the game, sport or animal racing.

If your organisation's main purpose is providing social and recreational facilities and activities, it will not be exempt. This is the case even if your organisation also gives money to encourage games, sports or animal racing.

Example – Not for the encouragement of a game or sport

An NFP club's main operations are providing dining, gaming and leisure facilities at its clubhouse. It gives a yearly grant to an associated rowing club, but is not involved in rowing itself.

It is not exempt.

End of example

Game or sport

The terms 'game' and 'sport' are not defined and take their ordinary meaning. Games and sports extend to athletic games or sports (such as football and swimming) and non-athletic games (such as chess and bridge). They do not extend to stamp-collecting, keeping and showing pets, making model railways, maintaining vintage cars, and various social and recreational pursuits.

Encouragement of the games or sports extends to less direct means such as research or testing, developing referees and providing sporting facilities.

Example – For the encouragement of a game or sport

An NFP association's purpose is to provide a sports ground for use by the local hockey, soccer and cricket clubs.

The association will be exempt if it is not a charity and also meets the other requirements.

End of example

See also:

Income tax exemption and sporting clubs

Animal racing

The income tax exemption includes horse racing, trotting and greyhound racing, and the racing of other animals.

See also:

If your organisation does not meet all the requirements for exemption for this category, you should check the other exemption categories in the Types of income tax exempt organisations.

Last modified: 20 Jul 2015QC 46347