Organisations enjoying “charity status” better placed to receive donations


27-October-2011

Mr Lalande and Ms Fanchette during their meeting with the press on Tuesday

This follows a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Finance and the Liaison Unit for Non-Governmental Organisations (Lungos).

Under the agreement, Lungos is mandated as the registrar of charities to vet civil organisations, which shall enjoy “charity status”.

Companies and other benefactors are entitled to tax relief for the full amount donated.

Such organisations will have to prove that they benefit society and may be involved in fields as diverse as religion, environment, civic and human rights, democracy and good governance, disaster relief, sport, recreation, arts and culture.

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, the assistant commissioner for Domestic Tax in the Seychelles Revenue Commission, Marie-France Fanchette, said that donations in both cash and kind will be considered. 

She said that organisations wishing to benefit from increased donations have to register with Lungos, which will then issue a certificate of registration.

Lungos is also responsible for vetting them for good governance, transparency and ensuring that they keep properly audited accounts.

Ms Fanchette said tax deductions following donations to organisations enjoying “charity status” can be claimed by benefactor companies or other donors when filing their annual tax returns. 

She noted that the Business Tax Act 2009, allows for 100% refund, if everything is done the correct way.

The chief executive of Lungos, Steve Lalande, said that two such charities have already been registered: Friends of Prisons Association and the National Early Chilhood Care & Education Trust Fund.

He added that registration applications of several others are being processed. 

Mr Lalande said it is hoped that the agreement will encourage more business ventures to assist NGOs and other civil bodies.

“It is a win-win scenario for everyone concerned; the business operators, the organisations enjoying ‘charity status’ and the society in general,” he said.

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