17 December 2016.
Direct Giving - weekly envelopes.
For many years, the parish has been able to provide 100% tax deductibility to parishioners who contribute to the parish through the planned giving envelopes or direct deposits. The funds in the Parish School Building Fund can only be used for educational purposes, which included loan interest payments, repayments of principal on school loans and the insurance premiums directly related to the school buildings.
Parents of children who attend SJB Primary School are required to pay a Parish School Building Levy. The school collects those funds and in the past the funds raised by levy have been paid to the parish.
The parish has been able to retain in the parish that portion of the levy payment that equalled the funds paid from the parish SBF for educational purposes. If the proceeds of the school levies were greater than the amount paid by the parish, the difference was transferred to the Sydney Catholic Schools Office. In short, the parish never profited from the payment of school building levies, rather it provided the opportunity to provide tax deductibility on the planned giving contributions deposited into the SBF.
The Archbishop recently received legal advice stating that due to changes to the Education Act, school building levies can no longer be paid to the parish, and accordingly he has informed us that school levies will no longer be remitted to the parish. Monies received from levies, will now be retained by the Sydney Catholic Schools Office. They will assume responsibility for the payments previously met from the parish School Building Fund, including the building loan.
As a consequence, from 1 January 2017 it will no longer be viable for the parish to maintain the Parish School Building Fund and therefore the parishes will no longer be able to provide tax deductible receipts for the planned giving envelopes or direct deposits. However, a 100% tax deductible receipt will be provided for any contributions to the Parish Planned Giving made for the period 1 July to 31 December 2016.
We sincerely thank you for contributing to the financial support of our parish mission through your contributions to the second collection.
The Parish relies on the generosity of all parishioners. Our dream is not to just preserve what has been established, but to grow the parish for the benefit of ourselves, our children and grandchildren. The future of this parish depends on the support of you, our current parishioners, just as what we have now, is due to the efforts and support of past parishioners, and many of our existing parishioners.
We acknowledge that for some parishioners the tax deduction they receive for their Planned Giving contributions is significant. As disappointing as this tax decision is, I ask that you continue your generous support at the current level.
I apologise for the short notice, but it is unavoidable as the decision has just been advised to us, and it is essential that we remain fully compliant with any and all legislative requirements.
Blessings and thanks,