Navigating the Politics of Charity: Reflections on Aid/Watch Inc v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation
42 Pages Posted: 16 May 2012
Date Written: May, 15 2012
This article analyses the decision of the High Court in Aid/Watch Inc v Federal Commissioner of Taxation, in which a majority of the Court ruled that an organisation was not necessarily excluded from charitable status because it had a main or dominant political purpose. The article reflects upon the benefits of the decision, especially its infusion of public law principles into charity law, before discussing the uncertainties generated by the decision. It is argued that, ultimately, the decision exposes a hole in the heart of charity law — the absence of a coherent conception of charity. The article concludes with suggestions as to what a coherent conception of charity might look like, and how it might help solve perennial puzzles in charity law.
Keywords: charity law, charity, taxation
JEL Classification: K00, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation