Good 360
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  | 

AID/WATCH Regains Charity Status


Monday, 11th August 2008 at 3:04 pm
Staff Reporter
Aid advocacy organisation AID/WATCH has regained its charity status after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) overturned a decision made by the Tax Office that the organisation was too political to be considered a charity.

Monday, 11th August 2008
at 3:04 pm
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
AID/WATCH Regains Charity Status
Monday, 11th August 2008 at 3:04 pm

Aid advocacy organisation AID/WATCH has regained its charity status after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) overturned a decision made by the Tax Office that the organisation was too political to be considered a charity.

The initial decision made by the ATO in 2006 was a controversial ruling arguing that charities could not ‘propagate or promote a particular point of view’.

As one of the most outspoken critics of Australia’s aid program, the decision to revoke AID/WATCH’s charitable status the organisation says the decision was widely criticised as a being a veiled attempt to silence charities which questioned government policy.

Director of AID/WATCH Flint Duxfield commented says overturning the decision is an important victory, not just for AID/WATCH but for charities in general.

Duxfield says this is a great vindication of the rights of charities not merely to deliver services, but also to advocate in the public interest by speaking out against misdirected policies which hamper the effectiveness of Australia’s aid.

AID/WATCH was represented on a pro bono basis by Maurice Blackburn Principal Anne Gooley, David Williams SC and Sheila Kaur-Bains of Counsel.

Anne Gooley explained that having found that Aid/Watch’s objectives were charitable, Justice Downes then determined that trying to influence government policy as to the nature, extent and means of delivery of overseas aid did not preclude Aid/Watch from being a charity.

She says this is a significant decisions for all NGO’s in Australia as they are now free to publicly criticise the impact of program delivery and advocate for a change in the direction of government policy without being worried that they will loose their charity status and the tax benefits associated with being a charity.

Justice Downes said in his ruling that taking steps to ensure aid provided by others is provided in such a way as to maximize the public benefit would seem to be charitable in itself. If is government policy to furnish aid to less developed countries, why would seeking to increase or redirect the aid not be charitable because the purpose is political.

The ATO says it is currently considering the implications of the decision and has until 25th August, 2008 to lodge an appeal.



FEATURED SUPPLIERS


Yes we’re lawyers, but we do a lot more....

Moores

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

...


Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

More Suppliers

Tags : Taxation,

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Court Decision Points the Way to DGR Category Simplification

Lina Caneva

Tuesday, 24th June 2014 at 11:00 am

NDIS Levy Confirmed

Staff Reporter

Tuesday, 30th April 2013 at 10:44 am

Charity Regulator to Clash with State Regulators

Staff Reporter

Tuesday, 31st July 2012 at 12:16 pm

New Amendment Shores Up NFP Payroll Tax Loophole

Staff Reporter

Wednesday, 25th July 2012 at 2:52 pm

POPULAR

Red Cross Moves to Wage-Based Fundraising Model

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 8:30 am

Disability Advocacy Group Fights to Restore State Funding

Luke Michael

Thursday, 9th November 2017 at 8:37 am

Concerns Raised Over New ACNC Board Appointments

Luke Michael

Monday, 20th November 2017 at 2:28 pm

New Same-Sex Marriage Bill Looks to Protect Faith-Based Charities

Luke Michael

Monday, 13th November 2017 at 5:25 pm

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Good 360
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!