Cults thrive on tax-free status, senator says

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says religious organisations must face a public benefit test, in light of a weapons find at properties linked to a religious cult.

Adelaide police found guns, high-powered ammunition and explosives at properties connected with Agape Ministries International.

Police think the weapons may have been bound for a Pacific island.

Senator Xenophon says organisations claiming to be religious thrive on their tax-free status.

He says legislation he introduced to the Senate last week would help flush out dangerous groups.

“If a cult cannot get tax-free status because of its activities then clearly that would make it more difficult for it to flourish and to expand,” he said.

“That’s why it’s important that we have a public benefit test and that to me is one way of ensuring some degree of scrutiny for an organisation such as this.

“Until we have a public benefit test these organisations will escape even the most basic level of scrutiny.”
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- Source / Full Story: Cults thrive on tax-free status: Xenophon, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, May 21, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
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