ATO on revocation of charitable status; Good governance tools

The Australian Taxation Office has released a bulletin on recent reviews of a number of charitable funds, and provides an example of a fund which had its charitable status revoked because it was found that the fund had not been applied for the charitable purposes for which it was established. The fund in question had its charitable status revoked for three years and will be required to pay income tax and lodge tax returns during that time.

Indications that a fund may not be applied for its charitable purposes include:

  • investment that benefits private entities
  • excessive accumulation of investment income
  • making distributions for non-charitable purposes

The ATO advises that charitable organisatiosn regularly review their entitlement to endorsement, tell the ATO in writing if the organisation is no longer entitled to endorsement, and avoid problems through good governance. More information is available from the ATO’s bulletin at: http://www.ato.gov.au/nonprofit/content.asp?doc=/content/00209848.htm

One tool to help assist charitable funds to operate with good governance is the Trustee Handbook published by Philanthropy Australia. It is specifically designed to assist philanthropic trusts and foundations and is available for free download from the PhilanthropyWiki. Trustee Seminars are planned for October 2009 to accompany the Handbook - watch this space for more details.

The latest edition of Australian Philanthropy journal focuses on governance and regulation in philanthropy and is a must-read for updates in this vital area. See the Journal page on our website to read selected articles and subscribe.

Sep. 03, 2009

 Tags: topical issues, news, government, finance

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