ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Prepare to lodge

How to prepare to lodge your first NFP self-review return.

Last updated 1 May 2024

Update your organisation's details

You must notify us of changes to your organisation's addresses, associates and authorised contacts. This ensures the correct people:

  • are authorised to access information on behalf of your organisation
  • can make enquiries over the phone
  • can access Online services for business on behalf of your organisation. See Set up myGovID and RAM.

You're required by law to tell the Registrar of the Australian Business Register (ABR) in 28 days of any changes in your registered details. It helps us protect your organisation's privacy and provides key personnel with access to the information they need.

Notify us if you have ceased operating

If your organisation has ceased operating, you must notify us and cancel your ABN to remove any ongoing obligations associated with holding an ABN.

If you later re-commence operations, you can request that your ABN be re-activated.

For more information, see what you need to know before you end your organisation.

Prepare for lodgment

You can prepare for lodgment before the first NFP self-review return is due in the 2023–24 income year by:

Review your governing documents

Organisations self-assessing as income tax exempt should have governing documents. Locate and review your organisation's governing documents to ensure they contain an appropriate not-for-profit clause, dissolution clause and you are operating for your purpose.

An NFP's governing documents are the formal documents that set out the organisation's:

  • purpose
  • not-for-profit character
  • requirements for how it operates and makes decisions.

Your organisation’s governing documents may also be referred to as:

  • rules or articles of association
  • constitution
  • rule book
  • deed of trust.

Your organisation must have sufficient controls in place to ensure that members and other private persons do not receive property or assets of the organisation.

We will accept your organisation as an NFP if your governing documents prevent it from distributing profits or assets for the benefit of specific people – both while it operates and when it winds up.

Self-assess your tax status now

Complete questions at How to prepare a NFP self-review return to determine your eligibility for income tax exemption and prepare your answers before the return is available on 1 July.

Note your answers and keep your records in an accessible format (either printed or electronic) to assist with your lodgment. You can also share the outcome with your board or tax agent before you submit. It is good governance to record the outcomes of any significant decisions made for your NFP.

Set up myGovID and RAM

You can use Online services for business to lodge your annual NFP self-review return from 1 July 2024.

To access Online services for business, you need to set up myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM). How you do this depends on whether you're a:

Principal authority

As a principal authorityExternal Link, you need to be the first to link your myGovID to the organisation using RAM. You'll need a myGovIDExternal Link with either a Standard or Strong identity strength.

You'll need to contact the RAM support lineExternal Link to link your business, if you:

  • are a primary person – this is a type of principal authority who is not listed as an individual associate in the ABR. For example, a responsible person for an NFP
  • have a Standard identity strength (are unable to achieve a Strong identity strength).

Once linked, you can access Online services for business on behalf of the organisation and set up authorisationsExternal Link for other individuals. This includes setting up authorisation administrators who can also authorise others.

If you've already linked the organisation, check authorisationsExternal Link are up-to-date.

Authorised user or administrator

To access Online services for business, you need a myGovIDExternal Link with at least a Standard identity strength. If you're unable to achieve a Standard identity strength, you may be able to use a myGovID with a Basic identity strength by completing some extra steps.

A principal authority or authorisation administrator will need to authorise you in RAM where you can accept the authorisation requestExternal Link. You can then access Online services for business on behalf of the organisation.

If you've already been authorised to act on behalf of the organisation, check your authorisation is up-to-date. For example, you may have changed your myGovID identity strength from Basic to Standard or you need agency access for the ATO. If your authorisation needs to be updated, contact your principal authority or authorisation administrator.

The principal authority will need to set up a Standard or Strong identity strength to link the organisation's ABN to your myGovID in RAM. This must be done before you or others can access government online services on behalf of the NFP.

If the organisation doesn't have access to Online services for business, you must check and Update your organisation's details.

Step 1: Set up your myGovID

You will need to apply for a myGovID that is unique to you and cannot be shared with others.

Go to How to set-up your myGovIDExternal Link and follow these steps:

  1. Identify a personal email address. As myGovID is your own personal Digital Identity, do not use a work related or NFP organisation email address.
  2. Download the myGovID app from the App Store or Google Play.
  3. Enter your details – open the myGovID app and follow the prompts to enter your full name, date of birth and personal email address.
  4. Choose the identity strength – this will need to be at least a Standard or Strong identity strength. If you have trouble verifying your identity documents or photo, see When verifying your identityExternal Link.

The principal authorityExternal Link needs to have at least a Standard identity strength to link the business in RAM, otherwise they can't use myGovID.

Step 2: Log into RAM

Once a myGovID is established the principal authority will need to link their myGovID to the organisation's ABN. If they have a myGovID with a:

If you are an authorised user or administratorExternal Link, the principal authorityExternal Link can authorise you to act online for your NFP. You will need to log in to RAMExternal Link and accept an authorisation request. You have 7 days to accept or decline the authorisation request before the code expires.

Watch our webinar

Our New reporting requirements for not-for-profits webinarExternal Link helps you prepare and lodge your first NFP self-review return. It provides an overview of:

  • who is required to lodge a NFP self-review return
  • how to notify of changes to your organisation's ABN details, associates and contacts
  • how to set up myGovIDExternal Link and link it to Relationship Authorisation Manager
  • how to nominate a tax agent to act on behalf of your NFP
  • completing a NFP self-review return in Online services for business.