Doorstop – Liberal Party Federal Secretariat

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Charitable Sector and the GST
December 9, 1999
World Today: Regional Australia, Wages and Jobs
December 13, 1999
Charitable Sector and the GST
December 9, 1999
World Today: Regional Australia, Wages and Jobs
December 13, 1999

Doorstop – Liberal Party Federal Secretariat


Transcript No. 99/98


The Hon Peter Costello MP



Liberal Party Federal Secretariat


9.35 am

Friday, 10 December 1999

SUBJECTS: GST & Charities


Not all the charities are happy with the deal that you’ve done with the GST?


Well, we’ve got a consultative committee and the Charities Consultative Committee

has put all of these matters up and they’ve all been accepted and agreed, which is a

great deal for charities.


Is there still some more fine tuning on the GST?


Look, the implementation will go ahead up until July of next year and, you know,

business will have to make sure that they’ve got their systems in place. But 150

countries in the world have managed to put in place a GST and I’m sure Australia can

be one of those as well.


The Cancer Council cites the example of Daffodil Day paying 10 per cent on the money

they raise – $600,000 across the nation. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on

cancer research?


Well, all charitable activities are GST-free. It’s up to charities whether or not

they want to put their commercial operations in separate fundraising arms. Charities have

asked for and received all of the measures that they want and you can’t do much

better than that, can you? Because we had a Consultative Committee, the Consultative

Committee drew up the list of things that they thought the charitable sector needed, and

they’ve nearly all been agreed. A couple couldn’t be agreed for technical

reasons but that list has been implemented in full. So, work will continue in that

Committee and as other issues arise from time to time they’ll be worked through. But

this is a great thing for the charities. Great example of where they work positively and

cooperatively. And they’ve managed to actually get the rulings which will help them.


But if turnover is over $100,000 a year they will be paying the tax.


No, no they don’t. Only if you go into commercial activity. Only if you go into

commercial activity can you come into the system. Charitable activities are GST-free. And

if I can say this, 150 countries in the world, and I don’t think there’s one of

them that has as favourable treatment for charities. So this is in world terms, the best

indirect tax treatment for charities. And that’s come about because we’ve worked

through the issues with the charities and it’s been very productive and very

constructive. And if there’s a requirement to work through further issues, we keep

doing it and making sure the rulings are okay. Thanks.