Test case - definition of charity

Today’s Australian Financial Review reports that the Australian Taxation Office has lost a test case on the definition of charity, a decision which has the potential to significantly widen the range of organisations which might qualify for endorsement as a tax concession charity. The Victorian Women Lawyers’ Association has succeeded in being classified as a tax exempt charity despite its being a membership organisation and engaging in some advocacy activities, both of which are often barriers to endorsement as a charity.

Federal Court judge Robert French stated that “The political purposes limitation is not well defined and is more difficult of application today having regard to the change in social conditions since 1917 and the involvement of legislatures in areas unthought of at that time”.

You can read the full judgement in Victorian Women Lawyers’ Association Inc v. Commissioner of Taxation [2008] FCA 983 (27 June 2008) online at the Austlii website.

Jul. 01, 2008

 Tags: government, general, advocacy

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