Message from Bro. Garry James
Dear Secretaries and Treasurers,
Does your Lodge have an income tax liability?
It is essential as we approach the end of this financial year to consider whether your Lodge may have an income tax liability. This will occur if the Lodge has received income from other than its own members (the most common being bank interest or investment dividends or in the case of a Masonic Centre, external renters). When the net income (i.e. after allowable deductions) exceeds $416, it is a requirement that the Lodge submits an income tax return and pay any associated tax that is assessed by the Taxation Office.
If this applies to your Lodge, taxable income can be reduced by donations made to deductible gift recipients (such as Freemasons Foundation or a registered charity) – so there is time to plan for this between now and 30 June 2019.
We have heard of some Lodges that haven’t submitted income tax returns when they should have, or where there is a belief that it isn’t necessary. Unfortunately, our organisation is not exempt from tax on income received from non-members and it is an obligation that should and must be met.
Further, the Board of General Purposes has determined that a Lodge’s financial results that are required to be provided to the Grand Secretary each year (Rule 216) will, from 1 July 2019, include either a copy of the Lodge’s income tax return if one is required or a statement confirming that a tax return is not required.
If you find that your Lodge has a taxable income and/or hasn’t submitted tax returns when it should have, please seek appropriate professional advice to remedy the situation. You can also seek assistance through the Grand Treasurer and the Finance Committee.
Bro. Garry James