Alliance
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Governance

Aid Watch to Go to the High Court


Thursday, 1st April 2010 at 10:28 am
Staff Reporter
Aid/Watch continues its fight over the definition of 'charitable’ with the organisation being granted special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia.

Thursday, 1st April 2010
at 10:28 am
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Aid Watch to Go to the High Court
Thursday, 1st April 2010 at 10:28 am

Aid/Watch Incorporated has been granted special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia against a decision by the Full Federal Court of NSW decision handed down on 23 September 2009.

The Not for Profit organisation lost its charitable status in September 2009 after a long running legal battle with the Australian Tax Office.

As Pro Bono Australia reported in October 2009, the test case decision applied what AID/Watch described as a very restrictive definition of what is a ‘charitable’ organisation for taxation purposes.

During that Appeal, the full Federal Court found in favour of the Australian Tax Office and stripped charitable status from the small organisation Aid/Watch, that monitors Australia’s international aid programs.

Aid/Watch spokesperson Dr James Goodman said at the time that the restrictive definition of charitable organisation applied by the Federal Court will send shockwaves through the charitable sector and flagged the Appeal to the High Court of Australia.

Goodman said the Federal Court ruled that, despite having a clear charitable purpose to alleviate poverty, Aid/Watch does not meet the definition of charitable because the organisation takes a ‘view’ on the government’s aid program and tries to influence government decision-making.

He said this restrictive definition may be a bridge too far for many charitable and environmental organisations.

He said charities are involved in the broad array of social life, and address causes as well symptoms of social problems. To do so they must be able to speak up without fear of penalty – they must be able to advocate.

In October 2006 the ATO disqualified Aid/Watch as a charitable organisation. Aid/Watch appealed this decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and in July 2008 the AAT President, Justice Downes, overturned the ATO’s decision. In February 2009 the ATO appealed to the Federal Court of Australia. The Federal Court judgement was handed down on 23 September in favour of the ATO.

For more information about the case go to the ATO website at www.ato.gov.au




Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

 Print

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

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



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

High Court Ruling Another Win for Charitable Advocacy

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 30th January 2019 at 4:34 pm

Could the Charities Act 2013 Pose a Problem for Advocacy Charities?

Krystian Seibert

Tuesday, 18th December 2018 at 7:50 am

The Legal Maze of the Marriage Equality Survey

Imogen Crump

Wednesday, 6th September 2017 at 4:55 pm

POPULAR

Labor gives charities the spotlight in final days of election campaign

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 8th May 2019 at 4:57 pm

Is this the Australia we want?

Maggie Coggan

Tuesday, 7th May 2019 at 8:33 am

Guide dogs business venture set to shake up traditional charity model

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 13th May 2019 at 4:11 pm

Measuring and Evaluating Social Outcomes Conference
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

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

You have Successfully Subscribed!