Safeguards Must be First Priority in Tax-Deductible Gift Reform

04 Aug, 2017

Australia’s peak body for overseas humanitarian and development not-for-profit organisations has today expressed concern in response to the Treasury’s discussion paper on reforming Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) arrangements.

CEO of the Australian Council for International Development, Marc Purcell, said:

“We welcome the proposals to reduce red tape in the tax deductibility process for our members but were disappointed to see a disregard for important safeguards and standards.

The current regime plays a key role in managing risks to charities and Australia’s aid program in crucial areas such as child protection and counter-terrorism financing. We are concerned by the absence of any detail in the discussion paper about how these risks would be managed.

“Getting this right is critical to aid and development charities who work overseas in countries where there is a lack of equivalent regulations. Proactively managing risks and maintaining standards protects vulnerable communities and gives the public assurances on our practice. These standards should remain in place as the first priority.”

Commenting on specific proposals to introduce new reporting obligations for advocacy, Marc Purcell added:

“We are very concerned by the proposal to shift the focus of charity regulation from purpose to activity. Doing good deeds for the community and advocating are one and the same. The government has presented no case for this change and we strongly oppose any reforms that cast doubt on charities’ legitimacy to conduct lawful activities like advocacy for the public benefit.”

Notes to Editors

Read ACFID’s submission on the Treasury’s Tax Deductible Gift Recipient Reform Opportunities discussion paper here

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