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Government warned on impact of tax changes on charitable organizations

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MEDIA RELEASE 5 November 1998


ACROO LIMITED AC N 0 0 8 4 4 5 485


Many of Australia’s leading charitable organisations today warned the Government of unintended adverse consequences of its tax reform agenda, especially GST.

More than 20 organisations attended a meeting convened by ACROD in Canberra today to consider a joint response to the tax changes.

They noted a contradiction between the Prime Minister’s wish “to see many more businesses contribute to the welfare of their community * while at the same time promoting tax changes that will cut the community sector off at the knees.

The Government’s Tax Package acknowledged that ‘charities , public benevolent institutions , community groups and religious organisations operate differently from business" but the Tax Consultative Committee's Terms of Reference are to "ensure business and charitable organisations

are treated on an equivalent basis where they provide similar goods and services on a commercial basis to consumers."

The charitable sector uses profits from its activities to provide services to the community, while private competitors distribute profits to themselves.

The proposed changes will adversely affect charities and their operations from raffles and other fundraising activities through to corporate support provided by big business. It is inappropriate to tax the income generating activities of charities when the loss of income and flow on cuts in services

will have to be picked up by the Government.

The Government admits it can't do it all, but will have to if the charitable sector is forced to cut services and jobs as a result of the tax changes.

Tel: (02) 62112 4333

TTY: (02) 6282 43 )3

Fax: (02) 6281 3488

Email: arrodnat@ .irm d.urg.,iL


PO Box 60

Currin ACT 2605



33 Thesiger Court

Deakin AC Γ 2600

National Industry

Association for

Disability Services

Australia’s charitable sector has a special tax status in recognition of the community good and welfare services it provides, and this should be maintained in any tax change. Additionally the community has a special relationship with the charitable sector and wishes to see this maintained.

' The meeting noted the Prime Minister's view that community organisations were "well placed to advise on the new tax system’ ...and to "provide feedback’ and said they would be doing so at all stages of the tax debate.

For further information: Michael Sumner 02 9743 4351-bh 0412 424 490 02 4777 5217-ah

Janet Kahler 02 6282 4333-bh 0418 492 220 02 6239 7268-ah