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Changes in reporting requirements for sporting organisations

Prepare your sporting organisation early for the new annual reporting requirement.

Last updated 20 June 2024

Not-for-profits (NFPs), including sporting clubs, societies and associations, with an active Australian business number (ABN) need to lodge an annual NFP self-review return to continue accessing income tax exemption.

The NFP self-review return will guide you to consider your sporting organisation's purpose and activities against the requirements of an eligible income tax exempt entity.

You need to lodge your first NFP self-review return for the 2023–24 income year, between 1 July and 31 October 2024. If your organisation has its own ABN, you'll need to complete your own NFP self-review return even if it's affiliated with a broader sporting group.

Get ready for annual reporting

To prepare your sporting club, society or association for lodgment, the person responsible for the organisation will need to:

If your organisation doesn't lodge the return, they may become ineligible for an income tax exemption and penalties may apply.

How to identify your sporting organisation's main purpose

The main purpose of your organisation must be encouragement of a game, sport or animal racing. Any other purpose of the organisation must be incidental, ancillary or secondary.

Your organisation's governing documents will help identify the purpose for which it was set up. Your organisation's activities in the year of income must then demonstrate that the main purpose is the encouragement of its game, sport or animal racing.

If your organisation conducts significant non-sporting activities in addition to its sporting activities, you'll need to assess if:

  • the non-sporting activities are merely incidental or ancillary to the encouragement of the game, sport or animal racing
  • the organisation can justify to its members and the public that its main purpose is the encouragement of a game, sport or animal racing.

For many sporting organisations that mostly conduct activities directly related to their game, sport or animal racing, the main purpose will be clear.

Example: main purpose encouragement of sport

A club's primary object in its constitution is the promotion of netball. In the year of income, the club entered several teams at all levels in the local competition. Its sources of income were membership subscriptions, game day food and drink sales, corporate sponsorship, 'sports and recreation' grants, raffles and functions to support representative players, and venue hire. Minutes of meetings, business plans and other club material mostly detail sporting matters.

The club's main purpose is the encouragement of sport.

End of example

Example: main purpose not sport

The Sandy Shores Country Club's constitution states that the club's object is to provide social and sporting facilities for its members.

The club's main activity is the operation of its clubhouse as a social, gaming and entertainment facility. A small number of members play in bridge, darts and snooker teams sponsored by the club. The club allocates a proportion of its surpluses to local sports and community associations in order to meet certain requirements under state gaming laws.

The club's main purpose is providing social amenities for members.

End of example

Check Sporting organisations and TR 2022/2 Income tax: the games and sports exemption for more information and examples.

See for more details on the requirement to lodge a return.