Many people will be aware of the recent issues which have beset Melbourne church Catch the Fire, which has had its charitable status revoked by the ACNC (Eternity Article - Catch the Fire), resulting in a major tax impact.
The CMASC Executive Director, Steve Kerr, was quoted in an Eternity News article confirming that in order to access the tax benefits available to not-for-profit organisations, an organisation must not promote or oppose political parties or candidates for office. While it is quite acceptable for an individual, or for an organisation which is not registered as a charity, after prayerful reflection to support or oppose a particular political party or candidate, the law is clear that an organisation wanting to utilise the NFP tax benefits must not do so.
A well governed organisation will work to achieve its mission in a lawful manner. It is the Board’s job to be aware of the legal consequences of the decisions it takes about how it progresses its ministry. Careful risk management is required, as the reputational consequences of a failure to follow the rules can be catastrophic.