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Tax relief floated for overseas voluntary work



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21st November, 2013

TAX RELIEF FLOATED FOR OVERSEAS VOLUNTARY WORK

The Australian Tax Office has been asked to consider if it is feasible to offer some form of tax relief for people who undertake voluntary work overseas at their own expense.

The Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams has raised the matter during Senate estimates questioning.

He said just recently a team of Rotary FAIM volunteers had flown to Kokoda in New Guinea to begin work on a Hospital Aids Clinic and also carried out maintenance on other buildings.

The Rotarians paid for their own flights, accommodation and food over a two weeks period, and several who are self-employed had to forgo contract work and two weeks of income.

Senator Williams said groups such as Rotary do a tremendous job in developing countries providing facilities and education that may not otherwise be available, but the volunteers should not be asked to carry the total financial burden for donating their time.

He said donations to groups who undertake overseas aid work are generally tax deductable, so there should be some incentive for volunteers who are helping out at their own cost.

The Tax Office has committed to investigate the points raised.

ENDS

Contact Greg Kachel on 028 253 560