ACBC acts to ease GST confusion

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has advised Catholic organisations on how to interpret a circular from the Australian Taxation Office that is encouraging non-profit organisations to de-register from GST.

CLICK HEREThe ACBC, which administers the Catholic GST Religious Group, has said that a Catholic organisation's continuing participation in the Group requires that it maintain its registration for GST (the goods and services tax).

It explains that the purpose behind the Tax Office's mail out to 16,000 non-profit bodies is to clarify whether they are eligible to cancel their GST registration, and if so, assist them in undertaking this option if desired.

"Any current member of the Religious Group that de-registers from GST will no longer be eligible to be a member," said the ACBC warning. "This will result in the entity being charged GST (10%) on purchases from Catholic entities that remain members of the Religious Group. Additionally, these entities will not be able to claim an input tax credit on the GST charged on purchases."

The mail out comprises a letter, a questionnaire, the fact sheet Cancelling your GST Registration and an Application to Cancel Registration form.

The questionnaire helps recipients to self-assess their eligibility to cancel their GST registration. Recipients need to complete the questionnaire and return it in the envelope provided whether or not they choose to cancel their GST registration.

The GST registration turnover threshold for a non-profit organisation is $100,000. This means a non-profit organisation is not required to be registered for GST unless it desires to be a member of the Catholic GST Religious Group or its annual turnover is $100,000 or more.

A non-profit organisation may voluntarily register for GST if its annual turnover is under $100,000. This may be because it wants to complete transactions with other Catholic entities in the Religious Group and not account for GST, as well as claim back the credits for the GST it pays in the price of other goods and services it purchases for use in its activities. However, the ACBC says the decision to remain voluntarily registered for GST is one that ought to be based on the administrative needs of the organisation.

Bulk Mail Out to Non-Profit Organisations Voluntarily Registered for GST (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 7/10/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic GST Religious Group (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)
Bulk mail out to non-profit organisations voluntarily registered for GST (Australian Taxation Office)

7 Oct 2005