Message from Bro. Garry James
Grand Treasurer

  • 5 April 2019

Dear Lodge Secretaries and Treasurers,

Further to my commentary on 1 March 2019 regarding potential tax liability for Lodges and Masonic Centres, I would like to thank those members who have sought assistance or guidance in relation to their own Lodge.

One of the common responses has been a general unawareness of income tax liability. This is not something that we have just dreamed up – it has existed for a long time and advice has been issued over the years to draw attention to its existence. However, with time passing and positions changing, there are many who just haven’t been adequately informed.

The Finance Committee issued a Treasurers Kit some years ago which included commentary on this tax issue. This Kit is available on the Resources page of the Freemasons Victoria website and pages 14 and 15 of ‘Guidelines for Lodge Treasurers’ are the most relevant. It can be found here: https://fmv.org.au/lodge-resources/.

Also, whilst quite technical in nature, a Guide from the ATO on the tax assessability of not-for-profit organisations such as Lodges and Masonic Centres has now been placed in the Resources section of the website for your reference.

I again urge all Lodge Treasurers to review their position and take appropriate action if necessary.

To assist you with any preliminary review, the following is advised:

Assessable Income includes receipts from non-members:

  • Interest
  • Dividends
  • Fund raising
  • Hall hire (from both members and non-members)
  • Functions (from non-members/guests)

Allowable Deductions:

  • Expenses related to investment income
  • Expenses related to fund raising
  • Proportionate expenses of functions
  • Proportionate occupancy expenses where there is external hall hire (light and power, gas, cleaning etc.)
  • Full cost of rates and land tax where there is external hall hire

You will be required to lodge a tax return where the taxable income (assessable income – allowable deductions) exceeds $416 in a financial year.

Where you determine that your Lodge/Masonic Centre has a tax liability, please take the necessary steps to have a tax return prepared and lodged (you may need to see an accredited tax advisor for this).

Of course, if there are any doubts or where you require further explanation, please do not hesitate to contact me at garry.james@freemasonsvic.net.au.

Fraternally,

Bro. Garry James
Grand Treasurer