C I F S S u m m a r y : ( v i d e o b e l o w )
Senator Annette Hurley says there has been longstanding Government interest in increasing transparency and accountability in the not-for-profit sector of
the economy, along with a mechanism to offer these groups advice and assistance.
It is very clear that these tax exemptions are a net benefit, supporting much community service that the Government would otherwise have to pick up itself.
Senator Hurley is chair of the Economics Senate Committee which examined the implications of the proposed bill introduced by Seantor Xenophon in May 2010. The committee has recommended wide-ranging reforms of the administration and oversight of tax exemptions, along with monitoring of complaint of harm caused by independent religious groups which have remained unaccountable for so long.
Senator Hurley says there is an impetus and wide agreement, coming from previous Government reports, the Henry Tax Review, regulatory bodies and from the not-for-profit sector themselves, to have a dedicated commission to monitor taxation exemption and provide advice and assistance. Under the current system, the actual value of taxation concession given to religions and charities is completely unknown, but is estimated to be many billions of dollars.
The UK and New Zealand have had such a Commission set up for many years and this is a model that works well for Religions and Charities, and has increased confidence in the community of the benefit of not-for-profit tax exemption.