Information for recipients

Who is a recipient?

The law applies to a person or an organisation that receives a political donation.

These are:

What is a political donation?

A political donation is any gift you receive if you are:

What is and isn’t a gift?

Gifts include:

  • money
  • services (including labour by a third party)
  • loans
  • guarantees
  • property (including loan of assets).

Gifts do not include:

  • gifts made in a private capacity for personal use
  • annual subscriptions to political parties
  • annual affiliation fees to political parties
  • annual levies to political parties
  • gifts between a registered political party and its nominated entity
  • gifts made for Commonwealth (federal) electoral purposes
  • volunteer labour
  • labour shared between branches
  • property used by a shared labour resource between branches (e.g. a telephone used by a worker).

What is an associated entity?

Associated entities are organisations that are connected to one or more registered political parties. They fit at least one of the following:

  • they are controlled by one or more parties
  • they operate wholly, or to a significant extent, for the benefit of the parties
  • they are a financial member of one or more parties
  • they have voting rights in one or more parties.

What is a nominated entity?

A nominated entity is an incorporated body that operates for the benefit of a registered political party, but does not have voting rights in the party.

A nominated entity must be appointed by the party, which also must provide the VEC with written confirmation of the appointment.

Gifts between a nominated entity and its registered political party are not considered political donations.

A registered political party can only have one nominated entity.

See a Register of Nominated Entities.

What are third-party campaigners?

A third-party campaigner is a person or an organisation that receives political donations or spends more than the general donation cap per financial year for the purpose of helping promote or oppose a candidate, elected member or registered political party at an election (known as political expenditure).  

A third-party campaigner is not:

  • a registered political party
  • a candidate at an election
  • a group
  • an elected member
  • an associated entity
    or
  • a nominated entity of a registered political party.

Who is responsible for a recipient's funding and disclosure obligations?

The agent. 

Find out more about agents.

What is political expenditure?

Political expenditure is any spending used for the dominant purpose to promote or oppose:

  • a candidate in a State election
  • an elected member of the Victorian Parliament
  • a registered political party. 

What is political expenditure for associated entities and third-party campaigners?

For associated entities and third-party campaigners, political expenditure occurs:

  • during the election campaigning period
  • outside the election campaign when information refers to a candidate or registered political party and how a person should vote.

Are there penalties for receiving a donation not allowed by the laws?

If a recipient accepts a political donation not allowed by the laws, it must be surrendered to the State or refunded to the donor.

This includes:

  • donations above the general cap in an election period
  • foreign donations
  • anonymous donations equal or more than the disclosure threshold
  • donations from a donor to more than six third-party campaigners.

You may be fined, go to prison, or both if you accept: 

The fine for this is more than $49,000. The prison term is up to two years.

It is also an offence to try to knowingly attempt to make or receive a banned donation or avoid a disclosure requirement under the law. For example, receiving a regular, small payment that would add up to more than the disclosure threshold over a period of time.

The penalty for this is up to 10 years’ prison.

When do I disclose political donations I receive?

You must disclose any political donations equal to or more than the disclosure threshold via VEC Disclosures within 21 days of receiving the donation.

Disclose a political donation

Recipients are also required to disclose the aggregate of donations received during each in their annual return.

Fundraising events 

The portion of a ticket to a fundraising event that is profit after covering the cost of the function is considered a donation. 

For example: you host a fundraising dinner with a ticket cost of $2,040 per table of 10. The cost of the function (catering, staff, venue hire) is $1,020 per table. Then, $1,020 of each ticket is considered a political donation.The organiser of the event is responsible for informing attendees of the political donation to cost split.

 

Make and view disclosures

Visit the online disclosure system, VEC Disclosures, to disclose a political donation you have made or received. You can also view donations that have been disclosed or submit an annual return.
VEC Disclosures is best viewed in Chrome.

Go to VEC Disclosures
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