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This is a special bulletin from Joined Up enews seeking your views on a proposed statutory definition of charity
A modernised statutory definition of charity will provide greater clarity and certainty for charities, the public and regulators in determining whether an entity is charitable. It is therefore central to improving understanding of, and access to, charitable tax concessions.
The Government is seeking your views on a proposed statutory definition, with exposure draft legislation and associated material being released and available on the Treasury website. The public consultation period closes on 3 May 2013 to enable time for the legislation to receive Royal Assent by 1 July 2013.
In releasing the exposure draft legislation, the Government has also announced that the definition’s commencement will be deferred from 1 July 2013 to 1 January 2014 so that the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has the time it needs to provide guidance and support to the sector.
The draft legislation has taken into account responses to the Government’s 2011 consultation paper, A Definition of Charity. The more than 200 submissions the Government received to the 2011 consultation paper are now available on the Treasury website.
Organisations will be interested to know that the draft legislation preserves the common law definition of charity, including long established principles such as the presumption of public benefit for certain charitable purposes including the advancement of education and religion. It also incorporates recent court decisions, such as Aid/Watch Incorporated v Federal Commissioner of Taxation, which extended the circumstances in which a charity may advance public debate.
Submissions on the exposure draft legislation can be emailed to [email protected].