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What happens if your sporting club is income tax exempt and how self assessment works.

Last updated 19 September 2022

About self-assessment

The self-assessment system allows you to work out if your club meets the requirements of an income tax exempt category. You do not need to seek ATO endorsement of your club's status unless your club is a charity.

If your club is income tax exempt:

  • Your club does not need to pay income tax or lodge an income tax return, unless specifically asked to.
  • Your club does not need to get confirmation of its exemption from the ATO.
  • You should self-assess your club's status each year to check if your club is still exempt – you should also do this when there are major changes to your club's structure or activities.

If your club is not a tax-exempt sporting club it may fall in another type of exempt entity or it may be taxable. If it is taxable, it may have the benefit of special rules for calculating taxable income, lodging tax returns and special rates of tax.

Your responsibilities

It's your responsibility to assess if your club is exempt from income tax or if it's taxable. If it's not exempt your club must lodge a signed, complete and correct tax return (subject to mutuality and the tax-free threshold for non-profit companies).

Even if someone else, including a tax agent, helps you assess your income tax status or prepare your tax return and any related schedules, you are still legally responsible for the accuracy of your information.

If you find your assessment is incorrect

If you become aware that you have incorrectly assessed your club as income tax exempt or that your club's tax return is incorrect, you must contact us straight away.

Initiatives to complement self-assessment

There are several systems and entitlements that complement self-assessment, including:

  • the private ruling system
  • the amendment system (if you lodge tax returns and find you have left something out of your tax return)
  • your entitlement to interest on early payment or overpayment of a tax debt.

When you may need a private ruling

If you are uncertain about how a tax law applies to your club's affairs, you can apply for a private ruling or phone us on 1300 130 248.

Lodge your tax return by the due date, even if you are waiting for the response to your application. You may need to request an amendment to your tax return once you have received the private ruling.

Further information can be found by going to Applying for a private ruling.