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Federal Court Rules Against Charity

A not-for-profit organisation that claimed to be a charity and spent more than $1 million on luxury cars for its members has lost a Federal Court appeal to keep receiving charitable tax concessions.

The Study and Prevention of Psychological Diseases Foundation (SPED) took the Australian Taxation Office to court over the revocation of endorsements for its charity tax concessions and deductible gift recipient (DGR) status.

The Federal Court ruled in favour of the ATO and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), which had previously found that SPED was “neither a charitable institution nor a health promotion charity”. SPED claimed to be researching poverty, opulence, crowded living, living alone, in cities and in remote areas of Australia, and the effects these living conditions had on people.

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