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Is your community service organisation income tax exempt

Check your organisation is eligible for income tax exemption before lodging the NFP self-review return.

Published 3 June 2024

Non-charitable not-for-profits (NFPs) with an active Australian business number (ABN), including community service organisations, need to lodge an annual NFP self-review return to notify their eligibility for income tax exemption.

You need to lodge your first return for the 2023–24 income year, between 1 July and 31 October 2024. It will guide you to self-assess your organisation's main purpose and activities against eligibility requirements of an income tax exempt entity.

Identify your main purpose

To be eligible to self-assess as income tax exempt, the main purpose of your community service organisation must be a community service purpose. Any other purpose of the organisation must be incidental, ancillary or secondary.

Community service purposes are altruistic. This means your organisation must be established and operated for the wellbeing and benefit of others. It does not include political or lobbying purposes.

Example: Main purpose eligible

The Hill Community Club is an NFP association set up to improve the welfare of the community and to provide its members with networking opportunities.

The Club's main activity is providing co-ordinated support to a range of community activities, such as sporting fixtures, charity events, and emergency services. The Club occasionally hosts social networking events and leadership development seminars that members and other non-members are invited to attend.

The Club is a community service organisation.

Example: Main purpose ineligible

Young Leaders Association is an NFP association that was established to enhance the professional development and leadership skills of its members. The association’s main activities are to hold monthly leadership-themed professional development events and fortnightly networking events for its members.

The Young Leaders Association’s main purpose is to advance the professional interests of its members. It is not a community service organisation.

See more examples at Community service organisations.

Conduct an early self-review of your NFPs eligibility for income tax exemption by following our guide. Be sure to prepare for your first lodgment and update new associates and contacts now.