A Senate Committee is currently examining the tax-exempt charity status of Scientology in reference to a private member’s bill brought by Senator Nick Xenophon (Ind., SA) which seeks a “tax-law amendment that would require religious and charitable organisations to meet a public benefit test”. Many other nations now have Charity Commissions which regulate the tax-exempt charity sector, and this has been shown as one very effective way to limit abusive and exploitative practises carried out by certain groups cloaking themselves as religious by cutting off a major source of funding.
Scientology alleges that these Commissions are specifically aimed at their organisation and are thus a form of discrimination. Other charitable and religious organisations don’t have much sympathy for Scientology but are concerned that they are going to be caught up in yet more red tape just so that Scientology can be curtailed.
For those who are especially interested, the hearings are livestreamed via the Parliament House website.