Community Council for Australia – Access Economics Report April 2010

Australian taxpayers support many community and other not-for-profit (NFP) organisations. The activities of these organisations have considerable social impact and touch the lives of many Australians, including some of the most disadvantaged members of the community.

The Australian Government has recently undertaken a ‘root and branch’ review of the tax system (the Henry Review). The recommendations of the review together with the Government’s formal response are due for imminent public release. It is possible that the Henry Review will recommend changes that affect public funding of the NFP sector — either by directly targeting concessions available to the sector or as a by-product of broader structural changes to the tax system. Some of these reforms may be long-term, perhaps for implementation over the next 10 years or so.

In this context, the Community Council for Australia (CCA) engaged Access Economics to examine tax concession arrangements applying to community organisations and to identify directions for reform in light of possible recommendations of the Henry Review. The intent is to, through an economic framework, consider potential reforms that may arise. In doing so, the report aims to provide the community sector with a robust and economically credible basis on which to engage in the debate on tax reform that is likely to follow release of the Henry Review and the Government’s response.

The report contains a set of high-level principles to help frame the CCA’s advocacy during the tax reform process has been developed.