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Not for profit - Tax compliance

Being a not for profit is no excuse for non compliance with tax laws. The Government has signalled tightened regulation in this area, and we can help you know where you stand.  We invest heavily in ensuring our staff are up to date in all areas of tax compliance.

Fringe Benefits Tax

The not for profit sector has unique rules for fringe benefits tax.  While some generous concessions are available, some rules, in particular for entertainment, are more onerous for not for profit entities.  Saward Dawson offers comprehensive advice in the area of fringe benefits tax, including assistance with FBT returns, advice on tax effective salary packaging and making the most of the exemptions available to non profit and charitable entities.


The tax law with regard to GST is constantly changing as decisions are made by the courts and as the government passes new legislation.  To help our clients to comply, we offer services from simple phone advice to a comprehensive GST review.  If you are unsure of GST treatment for a particular transaction, we can assist.  We are also available to consult on those areas where complex legislation makes GST treatment of supplies or inputs uncertain.

Payroll tax

A fortunate few charities are exempt from payroll tax, but for many not-for-profit entities payroll tax still applies.  There are additional complexities where an entity has operations in other states.

We can assist with payroll tax returns, identifying exemptions and ensuring all relevant wages, benefits, and allowances are declared. 

We can also assist in determining and applying for payroll tax exemption, where this applies.

Other state taxes & Workcover

While the ATO is the primary taxation entity in Australia, clients are often unaware of the state taxes that can apply to not for profits.  These include payroll tax, stamp duty on land transactions (also on business assets and investments in some states), land tax and duty on trust deeds.  Each state has different legislation.  If your entity is planning to acquire land or a business, we can help. 

Additionally, if your entity is paying land tax we'd be happy to look at the assessment and check that it is correct.

Business Activity Statements

The business activity statement is the primary interface with the ATO, yet this document can be confusing even to experienced bookkeepers.  The BAS has its own rules that you may not be aware of- did you know that you can adjust errors on the next BAS, but only up to a certain dollar amount?  You can also adjust your current BAS for errors made in the past, but only to a certain point in the past.  Common transactions for not for profit entities (eg donations) are outside the definition of "supplies" and don't need to be shown on the BAS at all.

Our staff see many different forms of activity statements every day.  Whether you are a little unsure about a particular transaction, or want to hand the whole process over, we can assist.  Often a short phone call is all that is required to give you peace of mind.

Contact our Tax Compliance people

Cathy Braun
Peter Shields

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