The Community Council for Australia has commended the Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos and the Abbot government for not proceeding with a new tax that would have brought into question all the income-producing activities of charities.

David Crosbie, CEO of the CCA said, ‘the decision of the Abbott government to abandon plans for a new tax on charities and not-for-profits is a very welcome decision. For the last two years, charities have been concerned that their income-producing activities may jeopardise their charitable status and the concessions they receive.

The announcement  on 12 December 2013 is a very good outcome for the one in eight Australians employed in the not-for-profit sector, and all our communities that will benefit from their not-for-profit organisations being both more secure and more able to diversify their income streams.

In this area, the government has clearly listened to the not-for-profit sector and provided a measure of certainty for future planning of income-producing activities. CCA had raised this issue with the Assistant Treasurer and he has responded very positively.’

The previous government had introduced, but not passed into legislation, the ‘the Better Targeting of Tax Concessions’ Bill to review tax concessions for charities involved in income-producing activities. They had argued that the government was foregoing significant revenue because some of the income-producing activities of charities were not being directed to charitable purposes.

Senator Sinodinos has indicated that he will not proceed with the ‘Better Targeting of Tax Concessions’ Bill, but would consider other measures where charities are inappropriately exploiting their charitable status to gain tax concessions.

Mr Crosbie said ‘like most of the charitable sector, CCA support the Australian Charities and not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) ensuring that all Australian charities operate to pursue their charitable purposes. Where organisations are pretending to be charities, but actually operating for profit businesses, the ACNC should remove their charitable status and the Australian Taxation Office should not provide any tax concessions.’

Many other groups have joined with CCA in welcoming the announcement including: the RSPCA, Musica Viva, Smith Family, World Vision, Mission Australia, The Big Issue, Drug Arm Australia, Good Beginnings, Lifeline, the Benevolent Society, Hammond Care and Wesley Mission.

Categories: GENERAL News

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