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Charities Panicked About Tax Proposals

Panic is emerging about the content of the Tax and Charities proposal by the Government and the incredibly short period of time that charities have available to make formal submissions, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"Today I have written to Finance and Revenue Minister Michael Cullen asking that he immediately extend the submission closure date to mid August and that he make this public.

"When I met with many major and small charity organisations in Auckland today the charities were so concerned they asked that I make a formal request to extend the deadline. They would greatly appreciate if the Minister could oblige.

"The charities are most alarmed about the intention and the detail of the tax proposals in the discussion document.

The Government plans to tax charity trading if the income is not spent on charity work during the year raised, introduce a fringe benefit tax on charity organisation cars and lumber charities with hefty compliance costs. Of course all this extra money is fed straight back to Government coffers.

"Many charities expressed real anger today at the intention behind the Government's tax and charities proposal," Jenny Shipley.

"It is insulting to charities for the document to argue that the Government subsidises charities through generous tax terms when infact if Government had to pay for all the care services and activity the charitable organisations delivered it would cost taxpayers a vastly greater amount than the tax concessions to charities that currently exist.

"National strongly opposes this proposal to heavily tax and burden the charities that are essential to helping many New Zealanders," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends


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