Family First and Green Peace

Two Important NZ Charity Advocacy Cases[1] Two recent cases from New Zealand have delivered a resounding rebuff to the New Zealand Charities Registration Board (Board). Both cases are about the registration of charities that involve advocacy to achieve their otherwise charitable purposes.  The 2 organisations are at opposite ends of the [...]

2020-09-25T09:31:38+10:00September 25th, 2020|

Making a spectacle of charity when it is very blurred

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) was successful in having the Court[1] fine a company $3.5M for misleading consumers about donations to charity and affiliation with a charity. Oscar Wylee Pty Ltd (Oscar Wylee) made statements between 2014 and 2018 that for each pair of glasses a customer purchased from [...]

2020-09-25T09:32:01+10:00September 25th, 2020|

Gifts to not-for-profit organisations for electoral purposes

Under the Electoral Act 1992 (Qld) (Act) it is now unlawful for a "prohibited donor" to make a donation for political purposes and also for a person to accept such a donation. Effectively political donations from property developers and industry bodies, which have property developers as the majority of their members, [...]

2020-08-16T16:33:47+10:00August 16th, 2020|

Payroll tax and tax exempt employment agents

A Queensland decision in Compass Group Education Hospitality Services[1] concerned employment agents who argued that because their clients were exempt from payroll tax, wages paid to their employees for providing services to their clients were not subject to payroll tax. In this case, wages paid by 2 organisations were exempt from [...]

2020-08-16T16:37:13+10:00August 16th, 2020|

Don’t sign a merger agreement before checking your bequests

Charitable organisations that are merging or winding up subsidiary enterprises should carefully consider if this will impact on current bequest distributions. The recent Victorian case of In Re Estate of Henry Brough Smith[1] stands as an example of how common this issue is becoming in the era of mergers and rationalisations. [...]

2020-08-16T16:40:00+10:00August 16th, 2020|

When payroll errors become ‘wage theft’

Apart from being an ugly term, 'wage theft' has the potential to severely damage an organisation's reputation and place its ongoing viability at significant risk. A 2019 KPMG report put the annual figure for wage theft in Australia at more than $1.35 billion, affecting an estimated 1 million workers. It found [...]

2020-08-16T16:44:21+10:00August 16th, 2020|

Duties of members of charities – Lehtimäki & Ors -v- Cooper

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) was set up in 2002 with an endowment of about $5bn (US) by Sir Christopher Hohn and Jamie Cooper. The breakdown of their marriage created challenges in administering the charity.  However, a divorce settlement in 2014 agreed that CIFF should make the grant to Big [...]

2020-08-16T16:48:23+10:00August 16th, 2020|

The importance of structuring charitable bequests

In our April bulletin we discussed some of the implications for charitable bequests where the named charity to receive a benefit under a will had ceased to exist after the testator's death because it had been wound up after transferring most of its assets to another charity.  In that case the [...]

2020-06-29T11:00:46+10:00June 29th, 2020|

Traps in hyperlinking documents for meeting purposes

Background A recent decision of the Federal Court has focussed heavily on electronic communication with company members and the use of hyperlinks for accessing documents and the implication of those for meeting arrangements[1]. The Australian Computer Society Incorporated (ASC) is an incorporated association with objects to promote information and communications technology [...]

2020-06-29T11:00:35+10:00June 29th, 2020|
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