Monday, 20 June 2016 12:53

Funding and Taxation

What Australia needs

The sustainability and viability of community and social services is critical in addressing the entrenched, and often intergenerational, disadvantage facing many people in our society. UnitingCare Australia has long advocated for taxation and funding policy which maximises the capacity of the not-for-profit (NFP) community and social service providers to fulfil their role of delivering sustainable support and leveraging non-government sources of funding.

The envelope of essential tax arrangements for the NFP sector is a resource-efficient mechanism through which Government can contribute to improving not just the wellbeing of all people living in Australia but also the health of the nation by:

  • Supporting philanthropic donations;
  • Providing salary sacrificing arrangements to enable charities to compete with the private and public sector in order to attract and retain staff to deliver essential social services;
  • Enabling Government to further their social objectives; and,
  • Providing a mechanism by which the majority of taxpayers (even those who do not donate to charities) contribute to the most disadvantaged through taxation.

Why it matters

Tax and funding arrangements for NFP community and social service providers, as compared with for-profit and government providers, seek to recognise the value of the models of services delivered by these organisations. In considering any reform of these arrangements it is critical to understand that NFP providers are wholly different to for-profit organisations, public and government entities. NFP community and social services providers are defined by altruistic mission and purpose and are neither an arm of government, nor a subset of the business sector. They provide a critical infrastructure which contributes to the Australian economy.

UnitingCare Australia's position statement on sustainable social services is available here.

Media Releases

30 March 2015 - Taxation white paper should prompt us to think about priorities as a nation

25 August 2014 - Increasing taxes not a second best option

25 October 2013 - Tax is the price we pay for a decent society

5 October 2011 - Tax should fund the things that matter 

4 October 2011 - Tax is not a four letter word 

29 September 2011 - Tax Reform: What Price Dignity?

2 May 2010 - UnitingCare Australia calls for Ministerial Taskforce following Henry Review 

29 April 2010 - UnitingCare Australia looks forward to the Government's response to the Henry Tax Review


1 June 2015 - UnitingCare Australia submission to the Australian Government - Response to Re:think - Tax discussion paper
13 February 2014 - UnitingCare Australia submission to the Treasury consultation on the Better regulation and governance, enhanced transparency and improved competition in superannuation discussion paper
17 December 2012 - UnitingCare Australia submission to the Not-for-Profit Sector Tax Concession Working Group Discussion Paper: Fairer, simpler and more effective tax arrangements for the not-for-profit sector

16 June 2010 - UnitingCare Australia's submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee Inquiry into Tax Laws Amendment (Public Benefit Test) Bill 2010


1 May 2009 - UnitingCare Australia submission to the Henry Tax and Transfer Review


October 2008 - Uniting Church in Australia submission to the Federal Government's Tax and Transfer Review

Publications and Resources

UnitingCare Australia position statement
A UnitingCare Australia position paper for the tax forum. 
UnitingCare Australia position statement
A briefing paper by the Major Church Providers
Report commissioned by the Major Church Providers and prepared by Access Economics. 

Speeches and Presentations

Address by Joe Zabar to the Community Sector Industry Issues Forum, Canberra.
Address by Joe Zabar to the ACOSS "Future of the Sector" Forum in Sydney.
Address by Lin Hatfield Dodds to the Treasury Forum on Tax Reform.