Defining, Taxing & Regulating NFPs in the 21st Century
19 July 2012 at 12:43 pm
David Bradbury MP speaking at Melbourne University
The Federal Assistant Treasurer has warned of the consequences of the Coalition policy to retain the regulatory powers of the Australian Tax Office and not transfer them to a new and independent regulator, during a speech on Not for Profit Tax reform.
Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury said the Coalition was ignoring one of the major concerns of Australian charities in his speech to open a Melbourne University conference on Defining, Taxing and Regulating Not for Profits in the 21st century.
The Not-for-Profit Project at the Melbourne Law School is hosting the major two-day international conference.
Bradbury told the conference that the Coalition’s proposed Charities Commission would not be a regulator but rather more of an information and advice body.
“A critical flaw in their policy is that it would not address the deficiencies which currently exist when it comes to charities and NFP regulation – namely the fragmented, inconsistent and uncoordinated approach to regulation of the sector,” he said.
In June the Federal Coalition announced that a national charities body run by a Coalition government would retain the powers currently held by the Australian Tax Office and would not transfer those powers – such as granting certain tax concessions – to a new Commission.
Conference organisers say the aim of the event is to enable academics and other experts to reflect, from theoretical and comparative perspectives, on the theme of defining, taxing and regulating the Not for Profit sector.
The conference coincides with the current Not for Profit law reform in Australia, with the establishment of a new national charity regulator, changes to the statutory definition of charity and other changes to the taxation and regulation of charities and other Not for Profit entities.
Not for Profit Sector Tax Concession Working Group was established in February 2012 to consider the recommendations of the Henry Review affecting the NFP sector including fringe benefits tax and deductible gift recipient status. Its expected reporting date is December 2012.
The Federal Government said at the time that the NFP Sector Tax Concession Working Group would examine the current range of tax concessions and whether there are fairer, simpler and more effective ways of delivering the current envelope of support.
The Working Group is chaired by Linda Lavarch, the chair of the NFP Sector Reform Council, and includes a diverse range of representatives from the NFP sector and also technical experts.
Some of the keynote speakers include:
- Professor Evelyn Brody of Chicago-Kent Illinois University, a leading US academic specialising in taxation of Not for Profits and Not for Profit corporations law
- Professor Gino Dal Pont of the University of Tasmania, a leading Australian academic specialising in charity law and author of The Law of Charity
- Hubert Picarda QC, a leading UK charity law barrister and author of The Law and Practice Relating to Charities (October 2010, Supplement Summer 2012)
In addition, the conference is featuring Mr Robert Fitzgerald AM (Chair of the Advisory Board, Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission), Mr Trevor Garrett (formerly of the New Zealand Charities Commission) and Ms Susan Pascoe AM (Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission) as well as Mr David Locke(Assistant Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission and formerly of the Charity Commission of England and Wales).