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Conceptualising “charity” in State taxation


Dal Pont, GE, Conceptualising 'charity' in State taxation, Australian Tax Review, 44, (1) pp. 48-70. ISSN 0311-094X (2015) [Refereed Article]

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With the commencement of the Charities Act 2013 (Cth) on 1 January 2014, the term "charity", when it appears in federal statute law, takes the meaning prescribed by that Act. Yet for State and Territory legislation, where the term "charity" is used but not specifically defined, there remains a need to resort to the common law concept of charity, developed over hundreds of years. The object of this article is to target the meaning of charity in the context of State and Territory taxing legislation. Relying predominantly on the common law, the breadth of the concept of charity for State and Territory taxing purposes has, together with the common law concept of charity, broadened to a degree that increasingly divorces the concept from its meaning in ordinary parlance. Indeed, the same may be said of the ostensibly broader concept of charity introduced at a federal level by the Charities Act 2013, chiefly by s 12(1). The article seeks to identify the lack of conceptual underpinning of the term "charity" at common law as applied in Australia, and ultimately calls for a refocusing (and indeed sharpening) of the legal concept of charity to align more closely with its dictionary meaning. As the substantive backdrop to this recommendation, the article briefly catalogues the policy bases for tax exemptions for charities, and explains the historical genesis and development of the concept in the law, informed by the reasons for which the law must give meaning to the concept. The core part of the article investigates what are described as the "conceptual parameters" of charity, and serves to highlight the divide between the concept as it is understood by the law and how it is conceived in a dictionary (or ordinary) sense.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Legal systems
Research Field:Civil procedure
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in law and legal studies
UTAS Author:Dal Pont, GE (Professor Gino Dal Pont)
ID Code:104882
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Faculty of Law
Deposited On:2015-11-24
Last Modified:2016-08-11

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