• Charitable Exemptions

    Duties | Land Tax | Payroll Tax | Relevant Bodies | Beneficial Body Determination

    The Duties Act 2008, the Land Tax Assessment Act 2002 and the Pay-roll Tax Assessment Act 2002 (‘the taxation Acts’) each provide an exemption for certain charitable bodies, institutions or purposes. The exemptions are not available to a taxpayer that is a relevant body unless a beneficial body determination is in force in respect of that relevant body.

    Note: An application for a beneficial body determination can only be made after the Commissioner has refused to grant an exemption on the sole ground that the taxpayer is a relevant body.

    For further information regarding charitable exemptions please refer to Revenue Ruling DA PT LT 18 ‘Charitable Exemptions’ and Fact Sheet 'Charitable Exemptions'.

    Duties

    A dutiable transaction is exempt from transfer duty if it has been entered into or occurred for charitable purposes. The exemption does not apply if the person liable to pay duty is a relevant body, or related to a relevant body, unless a beneficial body determination is in force for that relevant body.

    To apply for the exemption, the transaction record (e.g. offer and acceptance contract or transfer of land) must be submitted with Application Form FDA2 ‘Application for Charitable Exemption’ and the information specified in the form.

    For further information please refer to Duties Circular 13 ‘Taxation Legislation Amendment Act No. 2 2015’.

    Land Tax

    Land is exempt from land tax if it is owned by, vested in or held in trust for a public charitable or benevolent institution and used solely for the public charitable or benevolent purposes for which the institution was established. For a land tax assessment year that commences on or after 1 July 2015, a public charitable or benevolent institution does not include a relevant body unless a beneficial body determination is in force for that relevant body.

    To apply for the exemption, Application Form FLT37 ‘Application for Charitable Exemption’ must be submitted together with the information specified in the form.

    For further information please refer to Land Tax Circular 4‘Taxation Legislation Amendment Act No. 2 2015’.

    Payroll Tax

    A charitable body or organisation is exempt from payroll tax if the Commissioner has given the body or organisation an exemption or it is a relevant body in respect of which a beneficial body determination is in force. The Commissioner cannot give an exemption to a charitable organisation or organisation that is a relevant body.

    To apply for the exemption, Application Form FPRT41 ‘Application for Charitable Exemption’ must be submitted together with the information specified in the form.

    For further information please refer to Payroll Tax Circular 9 ‘Taxation Legislation Amendment Act No. 2 2015’.

    Relevant Bodies

    A relevant body is any of the following:

    (a)      a political party; 
    (b)      an industrial association; 
    (c)      a professional association; 
    (d)      a body, other than a body referred to in (a), (b), (c) or (e), that promotes trade, industry or commerce,
              unless the main purposes of the body are charitable purposes that fall within the first 3 categories
              (being relief of poverty, advancement of education and advancement of religion);                
    (e)      a body that is a member of a class of bodies prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph;  
    (f)       a body that: 

      •  is a member of a payroll tax group (as defined in the PTA Act) of which a body referred to in another paragraph is also a member; or
      • is a related body corporate as defined in section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) of a body referred to in another paragraph; or
      • has as its sole or dominant purpose or object the conferral of a benefit on a body referred to in another paragraph.

    For further information regarding relevant bodies, please refer to Revenue Ruling DA/PT/LT 18 ‘Charitable Exemptions’.

    Application for Beneficial Body Determination

    Subject to certain criteria, an application may be made to the Minister for Finance for a determination that a relevant body is a beneficial body for the purposes of the taxation Acts. The effect of a beneficial body determination is to reinstate the entitlement to the charitable exemptions. 

    An application may be made to the Minister for Finance for a beneficial body determination where:

    • the Commissioner has refused to give a charitable exemption on the sole ground that the taxpayer is, or is related to, a relevant body; and
    • all objection and review proceedings have been exhausted, discontinued or fully determined, or all objection or review rights have been surrendered by the taxpayer; and
    • the application is made within 60 days after the objection or review rights have been finalised or surrendered, as applicable.

    A relevant body that is an industrial association or political party is not entitled to make an application.

    For further information regarding the beneficial body determination process please refer to: