AMPAG welcomes the Senate’s resolve to ensure that legislation defining the term ‘charity’ and what constitutes a charitable purpose will start on 1 January.
The federal government had recently introduced a Bill into the parliament to delay the start of theCharities Act 2013 but the Senate did not pass it.
Now that the parliament has risen for the summer break, this legislation will start as scheduled.
In addition, the government will not proceed with the measure to 'better target' not-for-profit tax concessions at this stage, but, according to the Assistant Treasurer, Arthur Sinodinos, will explore ‘simpler alternatives to address the risks to revenue’.
The previous government was proposing to change tax on charities to catch those that were inappropriately exploiting their charitable status to gain tax concessions.
‘It is a vote for common sense. The previous government’s approach could destabilise and limit charities’ options for generating revenue to support their charitable purpose’, Ms Bethwyn Serow, Executive Director of AMPAG, said today.
‘This decision, combined with the start of the Charities Act on 1 January, gives greater certainty to performing arts organisations.
‘The Charities Act enshrines the ability of charities to engage in activities that are not intrinsically charitable, as long as the activities aid their charitable purpose.
‘Many of our members carry out fundraising activities and other commercial activities that while not intrinsically charitable, doonly contribute to their charitable purpose.
‘The innovative activities that performing arts organisations legally undertake to raise much needed funds for pursuing their purpose will also not attract additional or crippling tax.’
Ms Serow urged the government to fully consult with the sector while it explores its ‘simpler alternatives’ to address illegal activity by some charities.