Country Idealist Profiles

Australian Government Third Sector Definitions

Following are important third sector definitions established by the Australian Government, Australian Taxation office, for shared use:

Australian business number (ABN): An identifier for certain dealings with the Tax Office and other governments and agencies.


Australian Business Register (ABR): A public register which contains details of all Australian business number (ABN) registrations.


Charity: An institution or fund established for a charitable purpose. Examples of charities include:

  • religious institutions

  • aged persons homes

  • homeless hostels

  • primary or secondary schools run by churches

  • organisations relieving the special needs of people with disabilities, and

  • societies that promote the fine arts.

Charitable fund: A fund established under an instrument of trust or a will for a charitable purpose. The purposes set out in the will or instrument of trust must be charitable. Charitable funds mainly manage trust property, and/or hold trust property to make distributions to other entities or persons. In contrast, if the trustee mainly carries on activities that are charitable, the fund will be treated as a charitable institution and not as a charitable fund.


Charitable institution: An institution that is established and run to advance or promote a charitable purpose. An organisation’s purposes can be found in its governing document/s and from its activities, history and control. A charitable institution will carry on charitable activities whilst a charitable fund mainly manages, and/or holds trust property.


Charitable purpose: A purpose which the law regards as charitable. The term ‘charitable’ has a technical legal meaning which is different from its everyday meaning. Charitable purposes are any of the following purposes:

  • the relief of poverty or sickness or the needs of the aged

  • the advancement of education

  • the advancement of religion

  • other purposes beneficial to the community, and

  • the provision of child care services on a non-profit basis.

Deductible gift recipient (DGR): an organisation that is entitled to receive income tax deductible gifts. All DGRs have to be endorsed by the Tax Office, unless they are listed by name in the income tax law. There are two types of endorsement:

  • where an organisation is endorsed as a DGR in its own right, or

  • where an organisation is endorsed as a DGR for a fund, authority or institution that it operates (only gifts to the fund, authority or institution are tax deductible).

Endorsement: the process under which organisations apply to the Tax Office for approval to:

Fringe benefits tax (FBT): A tax payable by employers who provide fringe benefits to their employees or associates of their employees. For example, a fringe benefit is provided when an employer:

  • allows an employee to use a work car for private purposes

  • gives an employee a cheap loan, or

  • pays an employee’s private health insurance costs.

Goods and services tax (GST): A broad-based tax of 10% on the supply of most goods, services and anything else consumed in Australia and the importation of goods into Australia.


GST credit: A GST credit is what you claim to get back the GST you pay in the price of goods and services you purchase for your business or enterprise. You are entitled to a GST credit for the GST included in the price you pay for a purchase, or included in the price you paid on an import, if it is for use in your business or enterprise, but not to the extent that you use the purchase or import to make input taxed sales, or if the purchase or import is of a private or domestic nature. You must have a tax invoice before you can claim a GST credit on your activity statement (except for purchases of $50 or less excluding GST).


GST-free sales: You do not include GST in the price of GST-free sales that you make, but you are entitled to GST credits for things you have purchased or imported for use in carrying on your activities. Some examples of GST-free sales include basic food, exports, sewerage and water, the sale of a business as a going concern, non-commercial activities of charities and most education and health services.


Health promotion charity: A non-profit charitable institution whose principal activity is promoting the prevention or control of diseases in human beings. The characteristics of a health promotion charity are:

  • its principal activity is promoting the prevention or the control of diseases in human beings, and

  • it is a charity which is a charitable institution.

Non-profit: An organisation is non-profit for determining income tax exempt status if it is not carried on for the profit or gain of its individual members. This applies for direct and indirect gains, and both while the organisation is being carried on and on its winding up. The Tax Office accepts an organisation as non-profit if its constitution or governing documents prohibit distribution of profits or gains to individual members and its actions are consistent with the prohibition.


Input taxed sales: You do not include GST in the price of input taxed sales you make, but neither are you entitled to GST credits for things you have purchased or imported that relate to making those input taxed sales. In some cases, you may be entitled to claim reduced GST credits. Some examples of input taxed sales include most financial supplies and supplies of residential rent and residential premises.


Public benevolent institution (PBI): A non-profit institution organised for the direct relief of poverty, sickness, suffering, distress, misfortune, disability or helplessness. The characteristics of a PBI are:

  • it is set up for needs that require benevolent relief

  • it relieves those needs by directly providing services to people suffering them

  • it is carried on for the public benefit

  • it is non-profit

  • it is an institution, and

  • its dominant purpose is providing benevolent relief.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: