Government Extends Tax Deductible Donation Support to All Volunteer Bushfire Brigades
2 March 2010 at 4:07 pm
The Federal Government has announced a plan to extend DGR status to all 6,200 volunteer bushfire brigades.
The Federal Government will change tax law to help volunteer bushfire brigades across Australia attract more donations.
Making the announcement the Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry, says the Rudd Government will extend deductible donation support to all volunteer bushfire brigades.
Senator Sherry says there are more than 6,000 volunteer brigades in Australia – but less than a third can access tax deductible donations.
Currently, volunteer fire brigades holding tax deductible status are considered public benevolent institutions (PBIs) – meaning they are considered Not for Profit institutions organised for the direct relief of poverty, sickness, suffering, distress, misfortune, disability of helplessness.
Recent legal cases have led the Commissioner of Taxation to consider that volunteer brigades do not meet the strict PBI criteria.
Senator Sherry says the Rudd Government will act to ensure not only those fire brigades that already access deductible donations remain capable of receiving tax deductible support, but will also extend such support to all volunteer bushfire brigades.
The Government says they will immediately begin a process of consultation with the States and Territories on the best mechanism for extending DGR support to all brigades, in a way that minimises overall administrative burden.
The removal of PBI status will not affect the tax status of the Country Fire Authority and Brigades Donations Funds, nor the volunteer fire coordinating bodies, listed in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 as DGRs.