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  • Meaning of member

    For the purposes of mutuality, we accept that a person is a member of an organisation where the person has done all of the following:

    • applied for membership (which may entail being nominated and paying the appropriate nomination fee)
    • been accepted by the organisation (for example, by the board of directors)
    • paid the appropriate membership subscription.

    Once a person has applied for membership and has been accepted by the organisation as a member, they are bound by the organisation's constitution and any rules or by-laws of the organisation.

    Members need not have voting rights, but those who do not must be eligible to the other rights and privileges of membership. This would include knowing that they are a member, receiving the appropriate membership identification (for example, a card or badge) and receiving the organisation's newsletters and publications.

    Various terms are used to describe members – for example, temporary, honorary, social and reciprocal members. As the meanings of these terms can differ between organisations, the use of a particular term does not determine whether a person is a member or non-member for tax purposes.

    The general principle is that temporary, honorary or social members who have not been through the above membership process are visitors for tax purposes. This also applies to reciprocal members – that is, members of another organisation sharing reciprocal arrangements.


    A non-member is someone who is not a member of the organisation. Non-members include:

    • temporary, honorary, social and reciprocal members who have not been through the above membership process and are treated as visitors
    • members' guests – those visitors who accompany a member and are signed in by the member
    • other visitors.

    A visitor to the organisation includes anyone who is not:

    • a member
    • a child
    • an employee of the organisation*
    • engaged to work or provide services to the organisation.*

    * This only applies while the person is on the organisation's premises in their capacity as an employee or contractor.

    Example: Status of employee

    An employee is not counted as a visitor when they are at the organisation performing their duties.

    However, if the employee visits the organisation on a day off (and is not a member), they are counted as a visitor on that day.

    End of example

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      Last modified: 04 Dec 2018QC 23099