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Government ignoring tax commitment to charities

10 March 2006

Government ignoring tax commitment to charities

Today’s announcement of new tax rules for the racing industry is a slap in the face for New Zealand community groups, who have been expecting United Future to establish a new tax rebate regime for charities as part of their election commitments.

“Several key tax-related election promises have been confirmed this year, including the review of business tax, the carbon tax and racing industry taxes. We want to know why Labour and United Future have not moved to establish the tax rebate for charities. This was a key promise in United Future’s confidence and supply agreement with Labour,” says Andrea Goble, General Manager of the Funding Information Service.

The lack of action around the establishment of the tax rebate for charities is causing concern within the community and voluntary sector.

“Community and voluntary groups deliver millions of dollars worth of services on behalf of Government yet they have been shut out of the recent reviews and developments in tax. There are two distinct issues the Government needs to move on – whether they are going to establish imputation credits for charities, or whether their rebate will focus on people who donate to charities. We want to know when these issues will be addressed,” says Robyn Scott, Executive Director of Philanthropy New Zealand.

Any development in the establishment of the tax rebate regime for charities needs to happen within the next few months to ensure this election promise is delivered within the three-year term of the current Government.

“We don’t just want another empty promise. We want to see a firm timeline for the establishment of the rebate regime, as well as a commitment to consulting with charities about how the tax rebate should be best implemented. Today’s announcement around racing industry taxes means the Government cannot back down on this election pledge now,” says Tina Reid, Executive Director of the New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations.

ENDS

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