Financial disclosure overview
Updated: 19 December 2018
Registered political parties and their state and territory branches, associated entities, political campaigners, third parties and donors are required to lodge an annual return with the AEC.
Political parties, associated entities and political campaigners
Annual returns for political parties, associated entities and political campaigners for each financial year must show:
- the total value of receipts;
- details of amounts received that are more than the disclosure threshold;
- the total value of payments;
- the total value of debts as at 30 June;
- details of debts outstanding as at 30 June that total more than the disclosure threshold; and
- details of any discretionary benefits received from the Commonwealth, state or territory.
The details to be disclosed for amounts received that are more than the disclosure threshold are:
- full name and address details of the person or organisation from whom the amount was received;
- the sum of amounts received from that person or organisation; and
- whether the receipt is a ‘donation’ or ‘other receipt’.
The details of debts outstanding as at 30 June that total more than the disclosure threshold are:
- full name and address details of the person or organisation that the debt is owed to;
- the amount that is owed; and
- whether the debt is to a financial institution or non-financial institution.
In addition to the above, political campaigners must show the total amount of amount of electoral expenditure incurred by, or with the authority of the campaigner.
Annual returns for third parties for each financial year must include:
- total electoral expenditure incurred above the disclosure threshold;
- details of gifts received for political expenditure of more than the disclosure threshold wholly or partly used to incur the political expenditure disclosed in the return; and
- a signed statement of compliance with foreign donations restrictions.
Annual returns for organisation and individual donors to political parties and political campaigners for each financial year must disclose details of donations:
- including gifts-in-kind, made to registered political parties or political campaigners totalling more than the disclosure threshold; and
- of more than the disclosure threshold received and used (wholly or partly) to make the donations disclosed in the return.
Candidates, unendorsed Senate groups and Senate groups endorsed by more than one registered political party must disclose donations and electoral expenditure incurred. Returns to the AEC must show:
- the total value of donations received;
- the total number of donors;
- all individual donations received above the disclosure threshold (personal gifts such as Christmas and birthday presents need not be disclosed);
- the details of donations including:
- the date on which each donation was received;
- the amount or value of each donation;
- the name and address of the donor;
- electoral expenditure (mainly advertising, printing and direct mail costs) incurred between the issue of the writ and polling day.
People or organisations making donations to candidates in excess of the disclosure threshold must also lodge a donor return.
Election disclosure returns are made available for public inspection 24 weeks after polling day on this website. Annual disclosure returns are similarly made available for public inspection from the first working day in February.