Defining, Taxing and Regulating the Not-for-Profit Sector in Australia: Law and Policy for the 21st Century
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On Friday 2 November, Treasury released the Not-for-profit Sector Tax Concession Working Group's discussion paper on tax concessions for the not-for-profit sector. The link to the discussion paper is http://www.treasury.gov.au/ConsultationsandReviews/Submissions/2012/Tax-concessions-for-the-not-for-profit-sector.
Submissions are due 17 December 2012.
Ann O'Connell and Miranda Stewart are members of the Tax Concession Working Group.
The not-for-profit sector is crucial to the economy and social inclusion in Australia. The sector's role and significance is growing but it struggles with complex and disparate taxation requirements and piecemeal supervision by state and federal governments.
This project addresses both the needs of the sector and public expectations of it by comprehensively researching legal definition, regulation and tax rules and recommending appropriate reform, thereby making a significant contribution to National Priority Research area, Promoting and Maintaining Good Health and Well Being, Priority Goal 4, 'understanding and strengthening key elements of Australia's social and economic fabric'.
- whether there is a need for a legislative definition of charities and other not-for-profit organisations, and if so, what this should include and what form it should take;
- how to simplify the complex taxation arrangements for not-for-profit organisations;
- how to simplify the complex regulatory framework for not-for-profit organisations.
Source of Funding
Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project grant
See also our general Project Description.
The Chief Investigators for this project are:
Until 18 June 2012, the Research Fellow for this Project was Dr Joyce Chia. The Project will now be carried forward with the assistance of two Research Assistants, Ms Anna Dziedzic and Ms Julia Wang. For further information, please email email@example.com or ring +61 3 9035 4418.
Professor Ann O'Connell and Professor Miranda Stewart have been appointed as members of the Not-for-Profit Sector Tax Concession Working Group. This will report in December 2012 (see the press release for terms of reference and full membership).
Defining, Taxing and Regulating the Not-for-Profit Sector in the 21st Century Conference (19-20 July 2012, Melbourne)
The Not-for-Profit Project hosted a major international conference on 19-20 July 2012 at the Melbourne Law School. Please click here for the conference website.
Forum on Aid/Watch: Implications for the not-for-profit sector
The Not-for-Profit Project held an open forum on the decision in 2010 of the High Court on Aid/Watch Incorporated v Commissioner of Taxation  HCA 42 on 10 February 2011, in partnership with PilchConnect and Changemakers Australia. The two-hour event included speakers from the Not-for-Profit Project, Associate Professors Ann O’Connell and Matthew Harding, as well as an excellent range of speakers from the legal, academic and not-for-profit sector: Associate Professor James Goodman (Aid/Watch and University of Technology Sydney), Elizabeth O’Shea (Maurice Blackburn), Libby Klein (Moores Legal), Alexandra Richards QC, Alice Macdougall (Freehills) and Esther Abrams (Changemakers Australia). The event was ably chaired by Associate Professor Miranda Stewart, a member of the Not-for-Profit Project. The forum was enthusiastically received, attracting over 100 guests from the federal and State government, the legal sector, other not-for-profit advisers, and of course the not-for-profit sector itself.
The following speaking notes for the presentations were kindly supplied by three of the speakers. Notes from the presentations of other speakers have also been compiled.
- Matthew Harding's Aid/Watch Forum presentation
- Ann O'Connell's Aid/Watch Forum presentation
- Alice McDougall's Aid/Watch Forum presentation
- Aid/Watch Forum notes
The Not-for-Profit Project hosted a workshop on Wednesday 18 August 2010 at Melbourne Law School with representatives from government, not-for-profit organisations and peak bodies, and advisers to not-for-profits. The outcomes of the workshop, workshop program and reference paper for attendees are available below. As the workshop was conducted under the Chatham House Rule, individual participants are not identified.
Australian Charity Law Association Conference
The Not-for-Profit Project presented papers at the Australian Charity Law Association's 2011 Conference, held in Melbourne on 23 September 2011. The papers presented are available below.
- Ann O'Connell, 'Defining Charity - Where to from Here?'
Australian Charity Law Association workshop on statutory definition
Dr Joyce Chia conducted a workshop on the statutory definition on behalf of the Australian Charity Law Association in Sydney on 6 December 2011. The presentations for the workshop are available below.
Australian Charity Law Association seminar on not-for-profit reform
The Not-for-Profit Project conducted a seminar on the state of not-for-profit reform on 23 March 2012. The presentations for the seminar are available below.