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Getting started as a not-for-profit

If you are a new treasurer, office bearer or employee involved in the administration of a not-for-profit organisation, these guidelines introduce you to the information and services we have to assist you in your role.

Last updated 11 November 2018

If you are a new employee involved in the administration of a not-for-profit (NFP) organisation, this package introduces you to the information and services we have to assist you in your role.

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What tax concession are NFPs entitled to?

If your organisation is a not-for-profit, the tax concessions it may be entitled to access are:

  • income tax exemption
  • fringe benefits tax (FBT) rebate
  • FBT exemption
  • goods and services tax (GST) concessions for NFP organisations
  • GST concessions for charities and gift deductible entities
  • DGR
  • refunds of franking credits.

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Do I have to pay income tax?

Some NFP organisations have to pay income tax, and some are exempt.

To work out if your NFP organisation is exempt from income tax see:

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Do I have to pay GST?

Goods and services tax (GST) is a broad-based tax of 10% on the sale of most goods, services and anything else consumed in Australia.

NFP organisations must register for GST if their GST turnover is $150,000 or more; they can choose to register if their GST turnover is lower.

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Workers in not-for-profits

You need to work out if your workers are employees, contractors or volunteers because this status may affect the tax dealings between you and your workers. We provide checklists to help you meet your tax and super obligations for your workers.

If your organisation has employees, it will need to:

  • register for PAYG withholding, if it is not already registered
  • withhold amounts from their pay and send the withheld amounts to us
  • contribute to its employees' superannuation.

Your NFP organisation needs to consider its other obligations related to workers, such as child support payments, workplace giving programs, reporting and paying tax, and keeping records.

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Gifts and fundraising

To receive income tax deductible gifts and contributions, an NFP organisation must be a deductible gift recipient (DGR). Some DGRs are listed by name in the tax law, but most must apply to us to be endorsed as DGRs.

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Record keeping, administration and payment

Good records help you manage your NFP organisation's tax and make it easier to report and pay on time.

Generally, for tax purposes, you must keep your records for five years. If you are a charity, you will need to keep your records for seven years.

Keeping records electronically will save you time and improve accuracy.

We offer several different payment methods.

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State and territory taxes and duties

Taxes and duties levied by state and territory governments include:

  • stamp duty – also known as ‘duty’ in some states
  • payroll tax
  • land tax.

Each state and territory has its own laws for these taxes so be sure to be across the requirements for each state you operate within.

As these laws vary from state to state, you need to ask your local state/territory revenue office about them.

Contact details are provided.

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