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Overseas aid organisations to be GST-free



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M ED IA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

AA81 17 August 1998

OVERSEAS AID ORGANISATIONS TO BE GST-FREE

I am pleased to announce there will be no GST on the charitable activities implemented overseas of non-government organisations (NGOs) working in the area of overseas aid.

Donations to NGOs with tax deductibility status will continue to be claimable as deductions for income tax purposes. And with lower marginal income tax rates under the Coalition Government’s tax reform package, NGOs can look forward to

Australians having more disposable income to give to charitable organisations.

To avoid unfair competition between businesses and NGOs, the commercial activities undertaken by NGOs will be subject to a GST, as will other businesses.

The current level of Government grants to overseas aid agencies will not be affected by the tax reform package. These grants will also be GST-ffee.

The GST-free status for NGOs involved in overseas aid reflects the importance the Australian Government places on their contribution as part of the aid program to helping the poor and disadvantaged peoples of developing countries.

In 1998-99 total government assistance channelled through Australian and overseas NGOs is expected to be around $105 million, in addition to the financial support they receive from the Australian public.

Media Contacts: Innes Wilox (Minister’s Office) 02 6277 7500/0419 206 890 Matt Francis (AusAID) 02 6206 4967/0417 683 126

Media releases and speeches are available from AusAID via the Internet, http://www.ausaid.gov.au