Govt Christmas present for charities

Tax breaks for charities will continue after a climbdown by the Australian Taxation Office that is reported today in The Australian.

There had been fears that nonprofit organisations would suffer under changes being considered by the ATO after two draft rulings appeared to tighten the strings on activities deemed not to be exclusively charitable.

But in a final ruling yesterday, charities will continue to enjoy tax-free status on social, recreational and sporting, political, lobbying and advocacy activities.

Catholic Bishops Conference General Secretary Fr Brian Lucas (pictured) cautiously welcomed the ruling, but added the detail is "highly complex".

Tax and philanthropy expert Myles McGregor-Lowndes agreed that the law remains complex and some charities should have concerns.

Charities' tax fears eased (The Australian 23/12/05 - print edition only)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Income tax guide for non-profit organisations (Australian Tax Office)

Labor sounds alarm on tax shock for churches (CathNews 16/8/05)
Church calls Charities Bill 'unworkable' (CathNews 9/10/03)
Mixed Church reaction to Treasurer's assurances on charities (CathNews 31/7/03)

23 Dec 2005