The following defines some terms that are important to not- for-profit (NFP) administrators.
Australian government agency
Australian government agency means:
- the Commonwealth, a state or a territory
- an authority of the Commonwealth, a state or a territory.
The Commonwealth, a state or a territory
An entity will be the Commonwealth, a state or a territory if it implements a function of government. Consideration of a broad range of features relevant to the entity's relationship with government is required. Generally, an entity implements a function of government if it is both:
- established by government (including by statute)
- controlled by government.
An entity is controlled by government when the governing body of the entity is both:
- appointed and removed by a Minister, Governor or Governor General
- subject to the direction and control of a Minister.
An authority of the Commonwealth, a state or a territory
An entity will be an authority of the Commonwealth, a state or territory if it exercises power or command for the benefit of the public. An entity will exercise power or command for the benefit of the public if all of the following apply:
- It possesses powers that are derived from or delegated by government.
- The powers are exceptional compared to ordinary individuals.
- The powers are exercised for the benefit of the public or a sufficient section of the public.
The following are examples of Australian Government agencies:
- local government councils
- government schools
- emergency services established as an authority by government
- fire services established as an authority by government
- arts and cultural organisations established and controlled by government
- science or environmental organisations established and controlled by government.
For information about what is the Commonwealth, a state or territory, refer to Goods and Services Tax Ruling GSTR 2006/5 Goods and services tax: meaning of 'Commonwealth, a State or a Territory''.
For some DGRs, the law adds extra conditions affecting the types of deductible gifts they can receive. The gift may only be tax deductible if it was given either:
- between certain dates
- for a specific use.
To maintain a gift fund the
- entity must maintain for the principal purpose of the fund, authority or institution, a fund (the gift fund):
- to which gifts of money or property for that purpose are to be made
- to which deductible contributions for that purpose are to be made
- to which any money received by the entity because of such gifts or deductible contributions is to be credited
- that does not receive any other money or property.
- entity must use the gift fund only for the principal purpose of the fund, authority or institution.
For more information see Gift fund requirements
An organisation is not-for-profit if it is not carried on for the profit or gain of its individual members. We accept an organisation as not-for-profit if it is prohibited, by law or its governing documents, from distributing profits or gains to individual members and its actions are consistent with the prohibition.
The company must be both:
- not carried on for the purposes of profit or gain to its individual members
- prohibited by its constitution from making any distribution of money or property to its members.
A public authority is an agency or instrument of government exercising power or command for the public advantage. It has governmental authority for doing so. It possesses powers that are exceptional compared to ordinary individuals, but not necessarily coercive powers.
A fund is a public fund if:
- it is intended that the public will contribute to it
- the public or a significant part of the public does in fact contribute
- the public participates in administration of the fund.
For non-government public funds, the fund must be administered or controlled by individuals or institutions that have a degree of responsibility to the community as a whole because of their tenure of some public office or their position in the community.
For more information see Public funds.
Registered charity means an entity that is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits CommissionExternal Link (ACNC) as a charity.
Several DGR categories may require the fund, authority or institution to be either of the following:
- a registered charity
- operated by a registered charity.
For these categories, if your organisation is a charity it must be registered with the ACNC.
Registered health promotion charity
Registered health promotion charity means an institution that is both:
- a registered charity
- registered with the ACNC as a health promotion charity.
For more information see Health Promotion Charity
Registered public benevolent institution
Registered public benevolent institution means an institution that is both:
- a registered charity
- registered with the ACNC as a public benevolent institution.
For more information see Public Benevolent Institution
Return to DGR table of categories