Not-for-profit Law
Legal help for community organisations

Election funding and financial disclosure obligations

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Election funding and financial disclosure obligations are regulated by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) pursuant to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) (the Act).

Electoral expenditure

Under the Act, a 'third party' (a person or organisation other than a political party, candidate, members of the House of Representatives or Senate, or a donor) or ‘political campaigner’ that incurs ‘electoral expenditure’ (that is, expenditure incurred for the dominant purpose of influencing the way electors vote in a Commonwealth federal election) may be required to lodge a an annual return with the AEC. 

The fact sheet below provides information on these financial disclosure obligations for not-for-profit organisations. This includes changes made by the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Act 2018. 

NOTE - Disclosure of charities’ electoral expenditure on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission register

Under recent amendments to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation 2013, from 30 July 2021, the ACNC Commissioner will be required to include links on the ACNC register to the part of the AEC's Transparency Register which relates to disclosure of a registered charity’s political electoral expenditure. The Transparency Register includes details of a charity’s political donations used for electoral expenditure.

Last Updated: 23 June 2021