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Charities and friendly societies are entitled to an exemption from duty in Victoria.

While organisations can contact us on 13 21 61 to seek advice about their charitable status before a transaction, generally applications should be made after the relevant transaction is completed. 

  1. Check eligibility

    To qualify for charitable status, an organisation’s purpose must be predominantly charitable with no possibility of private profit during its operation or at wind-up.

    Accordingly, a charitable organisation’s constitution or memorandum of association should contain:

    • A clause expressly prohibiting the distribution of any surplus funds, whether income or capital, to its members.
    • A wind-up clause which provides that surplus assets will be passed on to another charitable organisation and will not be distributed to any members of either the original or substitute organisation.
  2. Gather required information

    All applications for an exemption must be in writing and clearly state the grounds upon which the exemption is sought. They must include the following documents and information:

    • Constitution or memorandum of association setting out the purposes or objects of the organisation.
    • Details of all the organisation's services and activities.
    • Promotional materials such as pamphlets, newsletters and brochures.
    • Evidence of appropriate not-for-profit and wind-up clauses.
    • Details of any exemptions granted by other jurisdictions, including any exemptions that we have previously granted.

    If the application is for an exemption on a declaration of trust, the original trust deed is required.

    If the application is for an exemption on a transfer of land, we also require a:

    • Fully executed transfer of land.
    • Contract of sale or any other sale agreement.
    • Written confirmation by the authorised officer of the organisation as to:
      • whether the transferee is acting as trustee for the transferee organisation, and
      • an explanation of the purpose of the transaction.
    • Proof of payment of purchase price by the organisation, including the deposit and balance money.
    • Copies of loan agreements and mortgages for the purchase.

    If the application relates to a friendly society, proof of registration with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is also required.

  3. Lodge application

    Conveyancing industry

    This transaction should be processed through Duties Online. As such, once you have completed your statement you should give it to a lodging agent, usually your financial institution or solicitor, who will lodge it with your transfer documentation.

    If you do not have a lodging agent, please refer to our list of Duties Online registered users to find one that is convenient for you to use.


    Members of the public who are not using a Duties Online registered user, usually a solicitor or conveyancer, who want to lodge electronically can do so after registering, which enables you to electronically lodge scanned documents for a land transfer or declaration of trust via our website. 

Next Steps

We will write and advise you of the outcome of your application.

Last modified: 25 March 2022

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