Registered organisations must lodge an annual return by 31 March each year.
On this page:
Who needs to lodge an annual return
Every organisation must lodge the an annual return.
The return must include the required information about the organisation's branches. These are sometimes referred to as chapters or divisions. Branches do not lodge an annual return.
If each branch keeps a register of members, the relevant office holder in each branch may need to make a declaration about their register. But the organisation is required to lodge all the information.
The return and any accompanying declaration must be signed by the National Secretary or a prescribed officer of the organisation.
How to lodge an annual return
Before you start your annual return, you’ll need the following information:
- declarations from any branch officers that they have kept and maintained a register of members in accordance with the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (RO Act)
- elected offices in the organisation and each branch
- names, postal addresses and occupations of the persons holding the offices
- name of each branch and its street address, including any branches that commenced and ceased operation in the previous 12 months
- a record of each election for the organisation or branch, that is due to be held during the calendar year (from 1 January)
- the number of members on 31 December the previous year
- the number of people who are members because of an agreement entered into with a state union.
To prepare an annual return, download and fill out the template:
- Annual return template for organisations with branches
- Annual return template for organisations without branches
Email your annual return to email@example.com.
How an annual return is assessed
We use a risk-based approach to assess annual returns.
Each annual return receives a primary assessment each year. The assessment focuses on key elements of compliance. This includes that the return was signed by an appropriate officer and lodged on time.
Some annual returns receive a more advanced assessment. This assessment evaluates compliance with the requirements of the RO Act.
Patterns of non-compliance may trigger an advanced assessment.
To understand how we assess annual returns, read our checklists:
You are required to keep specific records under the RO Act.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.