Home > Tax Policy

Charities etc

- eg, charities, public benevolent institutions; other non-profit organisations; deductible gift recipient status

The Charitable Contribution Deduction: Section 170 Reorganized
Dan Halperin (March 2013).  This paper attempts first to clarify tax rules concerning charitable contributions by reorganizing section 170 and simplifying the language, where possible, so that the operative rules will be clearer. In addition, a revision of the estate and gift tax provisions, intended to increase uniformity, is proposed. The possibility of further substantial simplification is explored in the section by section analysis which follows the proposed code revision.

The Charitable Contribution Deduction: Reform and Simplification
Martin A. Hall & Carolyn M. Osteen (February 2013) .  Split interest and partial interest gifts have been with us for over a century. Donors have had a long-standing interest in making gifts and reserving certain critical rights with respect to the property given. This paper discusses certain important aspects of the split interest and partial interest gift rules and the problems that have become evident in their application, focusing on areas that need reform through either statutory amendment or interpretive guidance.

Not-for-profits Reform and the Australian Government
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.  The ACNC has developed this guide to give an overview of the reform agenda and the regulatory environment in which charities operate since the establishment of the ACNC. It draws together information from a variety of government sources, including the Australian Government’s report Strength, Innovation and Growth: The Future of Australia’s Not-for-Profit Sector (July 2012).

Tax Reform and Charitable Contributions
C. Eugene Steuerle, Testimony Before the Committee on Ways and Means United States House of Representatives Hearing on Tax Reform and Charitable Contributions (February 2013).  Gene Steuerle testifies before the Committee on Ways and Means on tax reform and charitable contributions. This testimony centers on the point that a tax subsidy like that for charitable contributions should be treated like any other program of government, examined regularly, and reformed to make it more effective. Moreover, the charitable deduction can be designed to strengthen the charitable sector at the same or even lower revenue cost.

What does the fiscal cliff deal mean for nonprofits?
Joseph Rosenberg, C. Eugene Steuerle and Katherine Toran (January 2013).  This fact sheet examines the effects of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) on charitable giving. The major individual income tax provisions are estimated to increase giving by $3.3 billion or 1.3 percent, relative to 2012 law, mainly because of the increase in the top marginal tax rate. Numerous other smaller provisions will also affect charitable giving.

Legislative options for simplifying and restructuring the charitable deduction
Dan Halpern (January 2013). 

Fairer, simpler and more effective tax consessions for the not-for-profit sector - Discussion Paper
Not-For-Profit Sector Tax Concessions Working Group.  The Not-for-profit Sector Tax Concession Working Group (Working Group) has released a consultation paper on tax concessions for the not-for-profit (NFP) sector. The Working Group is seeking feedback on how tax concessions for the NFP sector could be made fairer, simpler and more effective.

Not-For-Profit Tax Reforms
Clubs Australia (Aug 2011).  Clubs Australia's submission on possible approaches to implement the Government's Budget announcement that it will reform the tax concessions provided to not-for-profit entities to ensure they are targeted only at those activities that directly further their altruistic purposes.

Better Targeting of Not-For-Profit Tax Concessions (Consultation Paper)
Australian Treasury (27 May 2011).  The Government has released a consultation paper that seeks public views on possible approaches to implement the Government's Budget announcement to better target NFP tax concessions to the altruistic activities of NFPs.

Summary of ACOSS proposals, Henry Review recommendations
Australian Council of Social Service (5 Apr 2011).  This is a brief summary of the Henry Review’s key tax reform proposals and compares them with those advanced by ACOSS, and the Government’s response.

Not-for-profit industry regulator (Consultation paper)
Commowealth Government (Jan 2011).  Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten and Minister for Social Inclusion, Tanya Plibersek today released a consultation paper on the design of a new national regulator for the not-for-profit sector. Treasury will use the consultation paper to seek the views of stakeholders on the goals of national regulation, the scope of national regulation, and the functions and form of a national regulator.

Advocacy by Charities - Aid/Watch v Commissioner of Taxation
Blake Dawson Law Firm (Dec 2010).  An overview of the decision handed down bythe High Court on 1 December 2010, that Aid/Watch was a charitable institution for the purposes of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) despite Aid/Watch's purpose of promoting and campaigning for more effective foreign aid policies, including a discussion of the implications for the not-for-profit sector.

High Court decision on AidWatch
High Court of Australia (Dec 2010).  Ruling from the High Court of Australia on the case, Aid/Watch Incorporated v Commissioner of Taxation, finding that an organisation involved in promoting and campaigning for effective foreign aid policies through the generation of public debate was a charitable institution for the purpose of tax exemptions and concessions.

Note by Professor Myles McGregor Lowndes
Tax Reform and Non-Profit Organisations. 

Taxation of non-profit organisations
Productivity Commission (14 October 2009).  Discusses the taxation arrangements affecting not-for-profit organisations (from the 'Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector' Draft research report).