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Thursday, 24 February 1977
Page: 504

Dr Klugman asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(   1 ) Has an organisation known as Nil Net Migration had a tax-deductible account opened for it by the Australian Conservation Foundation.

(2   ) If so, on what basis was this done.

(3)   Will he reconsider the availability of tax deductible donations for this and similar organisations.

(4)   What other tax deductible donation accounts have been opened by the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Mr Lynch - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) A circular issued by the organisation known as Nil Net Migration towards the end of 1976 stated that donations of two dollars or more made out to the Australian Conservation Foundation and accompanied by a note specifying the donation as being for the Nil Net Migration account would be tax deductible.

(2   ) This claim appears to have been based on the situation that gifts to the Australian Conservation Foundation Incorporated are specifically tax deductible under section 78(l)(a)(xliv) and that the Foundation's constitution enables it to provide assistance to, or co-operate with, other bodies concerned with or interested in conservation. The question whether gifts made in circumstances such as these would be allowable as tax deductions is primarily one for the Commissioner of Taxation to determine according to law and the advice I have received from the Commissioner is that, in his view, the answer would depend upon whether the gift is to a fund which remains in the control of the initial recipient or which passes to the organisation on whose behalf it was received.

(3)   and (4) The secrecy provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act preclude the Commissioner from divulging information on the particular matter that has been furnished to him for the purposes of that Act The Commissioner is, however, able to say that, to his knowledge, no organisation to which gifts are specifically deductible under the taxation law is now entering into arrangements of this sort

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