The federal government’s inquiry into the tax status of environmental organisations has recommended limiting the amount of advocacy work organisations can do, along with the introduction of sanctions and fines for engaging in any “illegal” activities.
The committee report has recommended that administrative sanctions be introduced for environmental deductible gift recipients (DGRs) that “encourage, support, promote, or endorse illegal or unlawful activity undertaken by employees, members, or volunteers of the organisation or by others without formal connections to the organisation”. It also recommended fines for those found in breach of the legislation, and suggests an arbitrary requirement of organisation’s not spending more than a quarter of donated funds on advocacy activities.
The inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee into the register of environmental organisations has attracted controversy since the day it was requested by Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt in 2015. There were more than 680 submissions made to the inquiry, the majority of them objecting to the government’s plans.
To access the report, click here