The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference is concerned that not all Church organisations have implemented necessary changes to accommodate the GST, reports The Catholic Leader.
    While a statement from the Conference said Catholic organisations were coping well with the changes brought about by the new taxation system, its GST liaison officer Wendy Day said she was concerned that not all organisations were aware the the tax changes affected them.
    She said: "Religious bodies are under the impression the new tax system does not affect them because they have been told the Church received some GST exemptions from the Federal Government at the 11th hour."
    "Technically this is correct," she continued. "But the Church must still submit a list to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)detailing all organisations under a 'GST religioius group'. If you aren't on the list, you don't qualify for the exemption."
    Ms Day said membership of this group had very strict conditions attached, notably that the organisation seeking to join must have registered for the GST and must be endorsed as an income tax exempt charity by the ATO. There are most than 4000 GST religious group entries yet to be approved by the ATO.
Catholic Leader
5 Oct 00

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