The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference (ACBC) is seeking to identify organisations yet to adopt new financial management procedures under the new tax system introduced in Australia on 1 July this year.
    In general, the ACBC is pleased with the Church's response to the changes. It believes that the 142 preparatory workshops it conducted in conjunction with the Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes (ACLRI), prior to 30 June, have been effective.
    But its GST Liaison Officer Ms Wendy Day is concerned that not all organisations are aware that this change in the tax system affects them.
    "Every single community organisation, including Church organisations, should have made some changes to the way they manage their financial records since the GST came in," said Ms Day. "If they haven't, they are probably not complying with the necessary requirements under the new tax system."
    "Religious organisations are under the impression that the new tax system does not affect them because they have been told the Church received some exemptions from the Federal Government at the eleventh hour concerning the GST," said Ms Day. "Technically, this is correct. However, the Church must still submit a list to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) detailing all organizations under a 'GST Religious Group'. If you aren't on the list - you don't qualify for exemption."
    The Bishops' GST Handbook is online at
23 Aug 00

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