Information for recipients

Donation recipients are:

  • political parties registered in Victoria
  • Victorian State election candidates
  • groups of Legislative Council (Upper House) candidates at a Victorian State election
  • elected members of the Victorian Parliament
  • associated entities operating in Victoria
  • nominated entities of political parties registered in Victoria
  • third-party campaigners operating in Victoria.

Registered officers and agents

Your registered officer or registered agent is responsible for managing your funding and disclosure obligations.

Find out more about agents

Where should donation funds be deposited?

You must deposit all political donations into your state campaign account. This is a financial account all recipients must set up with an authorised deposit-taking institute (a bank, building or credit society).

Read more about state campaign accounts

Donation limits

You cannot receive donations of or more than the general cap from any single donor in the 4 years between two state elections.

The general cap amount is indexed on 1 July each year. The Indexation page has more information. 

Disclosing donations

You must tell us about any donation you have received that are equal to or more than the disclosure threshold. You must do this on VEC Disclosures within 21 days of receiving the donation.

Disclose a political donation

You must notify the donor that they also must disclose their donation. 

Donations you have received that are under the disclosure threshold do not need to be disclosed to us. You must notify the donor that they need to disclose their donations if the total amount they pay to you meets or exceeds the disclosure threshold in a financial year.

Associated entities and third-party campaigners

Not all gifts to associated entities or third-party campaigners are political donations. Gifts that are not donations do not need to be disclosed to us, regardless of the value of the gift.

For more information contact us at disclosures@vec.vic.gov.au.

Can I disclose donations even if I don't have to?

There are no laws that say you cannot over-disclose. However, only donations that legally must be disclosed to us will be published on VEC Disclosures.

What do I need to give to donors?

You should provide your donors with a receipt that clearly states the donation amount. The receipt should show each item if there are more than one making up the total cost. 

You must tell your donors about their obligation to disclose their donation.

Donors must disclose their donations if:

  • the individual donation is equal to or more than the disclosure threshold
  • the total value of multiple donations to a single recipient in a financial year meets or exceeds the disclosure threshold
  • they make more donations to a recipient after the donation threshold has been met within one financial year (each donation must be disclosed).

A single recipient could be made up of:

  • a registered political party, its endorsed candidates, elected members and its nominated entity
  • members of a group of independent Legislative Council (Upper House) candidates.

Donors cannot give more than the general cap in combined donations to several party candidates or elected party members in the 4 years between elections. They also cannot give more than the general cap in combined donations to members of a group of independent candidates in the 4 years between elections.

Example

Freda is running as an independent candidate for her district at the state election. After chatting with some locals in the district she receives two donations: one from Rakesh for $2,000, and another from Mary for $300.

Freda gives each of them a receipt and notifies Rakesh that he must disclose the donation, as it is over the disclosure threshold. Freda must also disclose Rakesh's donation of $2,000 but she does not need to disclose Mary's donation of $300.

A few weeks later, Mary makes another donation of $1,000 to Freda's campaign. Mary has now donated $1300 in total, which is above the disclosure threshold.

Freda must notify Mary that she now must disclose both donations as the combined total is above the disclosure threshold. However, Freda does not have to disclose any of Mary's donations herself because none of them individually exceed the disclosure threshold.

I’ve received a banned donation, can I return it?

Donations can only be made by Australian citizens, Australian residents or Australian businesses with an Australian Business Number (ABN). Foreign donations are prohibited by law. 

Donations above the general cap are also prohibited. If you accept a single donation above the general cap then it must be forfeited to us. It cannot be returned to the donor.

If you receive multiple donations from one donor, and could not have reasonably known that the total of these donations has exceeded the general cap, you can return the amount above the general cap to the donor.

Contact us at disclosures@vec.vic.gov.au to discuss your situation and make arrangements to forfeit any banned donations.

Penalties

There are fines or possible prison terms for recipients who do not comply with political donation laws.

All fine amounts are indexed annually. Read more about indexation.

Action

Consequences

Not disclosing a donation of or above the disclosure threshold within 21 days of receiving the donation.

200 penalty units

Knowingly accepting a banned donation. Banned donations are:

  • foreign donations
  • donations above the general cap
  • anonymous donations equal to or more than the disclosure threshold.

You must give up any of these donations to the state.

The fine is 300 penalty units or up to 2 years' prison time.

 

Planning or acting out a scheme to avoid prohibited donations laws. 

Up to 10 years’ prison time.

Giving false or misleading information about a donation.

300 penalty units and up to 2 years’ prison time.

Make a disclosure

To disclose a political donation or view existing donations, visit VEC Disclosures.

Disclose a political donation

VEC Disclosures is best viewed using Google Chrome.