Tax-free charity shake-up (Gov’t is attempting to shut down dissenting opinion)

NZ Herald 16 Oct 06
Charities that indulge in too much political activity could be stripped of their tax-free status under new Government rules. From February, the Charities Commission will have the power to deregister an organisation if it is deemed to be acting more with political intent than for a charitable purpose.Existing charities wanting to keep their tax-exempt status will have to register with the commission by mid-2008. Inland Revenue will retain responsibility for deciding whether donations to organisations are tax-deductible. The looming shake-up has made some organisations afraid they could be punished for promoting political views that contradict the Government’s stance. Opposition politicians say the system could be open to abuse because the commission’s seven-member board is appointed by the Government.

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