Charities Act 2005

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Reprint as at 1 December 2014

Charities Act 2005

Public Act2005 No 39
Date of assent20 April 2005
Commencementsee section 2


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.


1 Title

2 Commencement

Part 1
Preliminary matters and functions relating to charities

Preliminary matters

3 Purpose

4 Interpretation

5 Meaning of charitable purpose and effect of ancillary non-charitable purpose

6 Registration of trustees of trusts

7 Act binds the Crown

Board and chief executive

8 Establishment, functions, duties, and powers of Board

Nature of Commission


9 Board may delegate

Commission's functions


10 Functions of chief executive

Membership of Commission


11 Status of entity does not affect performance of functions

Annual meeting


12 Annual meeting with representatives of charitable entities

Part 2
Charitable entities

Subpart 1Register of charitable entities

Registration requirements

13 Essential requirements

14 Board may act on basis of reasonable assumptions in relation to charitable trusts

15 Name of entity

16 Qualifications of officers of charitable entities

Applications for registration

17 Application for registration

18 Chief executive to consider application

19 Board to decide application for registration

20 Board may backdate registration of entity as charitable entity

Register of charitable entities established

21 Register of charitable entities

22 Purpose of register

23 Chief executive is registrar of register

24 Contents of register

25 Chief executive may allow information and documents to be omitted or removed from register and may restrict public access to information and documents

26 Amendments to register

Searches of register

27 Search of register

28 Search purposes

29 When search constitutes interference with privacy of individual

Supply of register information and documents

30 Chief executive may supply register information or documents for purposes of Inland Revenue Acts

Deregistration of charitable entities

31 Deregistration of charitable entity from register

32 Grounds for removal from register

33 Notice of intention to remove from register

34 Objection to removal from register

35 Duties of Board and chief executive if objection received

36 Board to observe rules of natural justice

Subpart 2Duties, inquiries, appeals, and other miscellaneous matters relating to charitable entities

Holding out offences

37 No holding out unless registered under this Act

38 Offence to contravene section 37

Duty of telephone and Internet collectors

39 Duty of telephone and Internet collectors to disclose registration number on request

Duty to notify changes

40 Duty to notify changes to chief executive

Duty to prepare annual returns

41 Duty to prepare annual return

42 Chief executive must prescribe content of annual returns


43 Chief executive may grant exemptions

Board or chief executive may treat entity and affiliated or closely related entities as single entity

44 Board or chief executive may treat entity and affiliated or closely related entities as single entity

45 Parent entity may request means of compliance with duties

46 Board or chief executive may treat parent entity and 1 or more other entities as forming part of single entity on certain terms and conditions

47 Effect of registration of single entity as charitable entity

48 Board may revoke entity's status as forming part of single entity

49 Board to observe rules of natural justice

Inquiries into charitable entities and other persons

50 Inquiries into charitable entities and other persons

51 Duty to assist

52 Offences

53 Chief executive may supply inquiry information or documents

Warning notices and publication of details of breach, serious wrongdoing, and other matters

54 Chief executive may give warning notices

55 Board may publish details of possible breach, possible serious wrongdoing, and other matters

Provisions relating to how notices are given and served for purposes of various sections

56 Notices

57 Service of notices

Administrative penalties

58 Chief executive may require payment of administrative penalty

Appeals against decisions of Board

59 Right of appeal

60 High Court may make interim order pending determination of appeal

61 Determination of appeal

Part 3
Miscellaneous matters and amendments to other Acts

Subpart 1Miscellaneous matters relating to Commission


Reporting obligations


62 Reporting obligations in respect of financial year commencing on 1 July 2005 [Repealed]

Bank accounts


63 Crown Entities Act 2004 provisions concerning bank accounts apply to Commission [Repealed]

Subpart 2Amendments to Income Tax Act 2004

64 Income Tax Act 2004 called principal Act in this subpart

65 Charities: non-business income

66 Charities: business income

67 Charitable bequests

68 Definitions

Subpart 3Amendments to Tax Administration Act 1994

69 Tax Administration Act 1994 called principal Act in this subpart

70 Interpretation

71 Officers to maintain secrecy

Subpart 4Amendment to Estate and Gift Duties Act 1968

72 Exemption for gifts to charities and certain bodies

Subpart 5Miscellaneous provisions

72A Forms and requirements prescribed by chief executive

73 Regulations

74 Prosecution of offences

75 No obligation on Board or chief executive or any other person to supervise

76 Amendments to other Acts

Schedule 1
Amendments to other Acts

Schedule 2
Provisions relating to Board, chairperson, and members

Income Tax Act 2007

Charities Amendment Act 2012

Charities Amendment Act (No 2) 2012

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