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Charitable Status

22 March 2013: Inland Revenue advised the Commissioner intends to reverse all tax credits claimed by contributors who had an expectation of being considered for an interest free loan, for the years ended 31 March 2010, 31 March 2011 and 31 March 2012. 

7 December 2012:  Inland Revenue have decided "The Commissioner will deny tax credits for all contributions made to Liberty Trust from 1 April 2008".  We will meet with them on 15 February to discuss this further.

30 March 2012:  The Inland Revenue Commission "considers that the payments made to Liberty Trust by contributors are not "gifts" under s LD 3 of the Income Tax Act 2007, because the contributors have an expectation of the offer of an interest free loan in due course, even though conditions apply.  If the contributor receives an advantage of a material nature as a result of the payment it is not a "gift" as they could be eventually offered such a loan or choose to nominate another person to receive it.  In this regard it is not necessary that there is an actual loan received by a particular contributor for there to be a benefit.  It is therefore considered that the contributors or donors have not made unconditional gifts and are not entitled to tax credits."

We will meet with them in June to learn more.

9 March 2012: Inland Revenue responded to our complaint regarding the lack of progress on their review.  They advised again that this is a complex subject and it took longer than expected to receive legal advice, which they are currently considering.  They plan to write to us with their conclusion on the matter by 31 March 2012.

25 November 2011: Inland Revenue responded to our complaint regarding the lack of progress on their review.  They advised this is a complex subject and they expect to receive legal advice by 14 December 2011, after which they will update us on their review.

27 June 2011: We have received a letter from our investigator at Inland Revenue to acknowledge the High Court's decision and our reinstatement to the Charities Register.  However, bizarre as it seems, they write to say they have not yet completed their review of our donee status.  Please pray for them.

2 June 2011: The Honourable Justice Mallon produced her judgement at 4.45pm today.  Here is the conclusion: 


[124] I consider that the Charities Commission erred in finding that Liberty Trust does not have, as its main purpose, a charitable purpose. Liberty Trust was set up to advance religion. It seeks to do that through teaching financial principles that Liberty Trust proclaims are the Bible's financial principles. It seeks to teach those principles through providing a scheme which allows its followers (and anyone else who wishes to join up) to pool financial resources for the benefit of themselves and others. It reinforces the religious beliefs on which the scheme is based through its literature promoting the scheme and its other publications and teaching activities. It is not merely inspired by or conducive to religion. Its purpose, through this scheme, is to spread what is viewed as being the Bible's message. In my view the purpose of Liberty Trust falls within the term "advancement of religion" as it has been interpreted in the cases.

[125] I also consider that the Charities Commission erred in finding that Liberty Trust's activities do not exist for the public benefit. As a trust which has as its purpose the advancement of religion, the starting assumption is that it has a public benefit. The activities are not contended to be subversive to morality or a sham. It is not for the Court to impose its own views as to the religious beliefs that are advanced through the scheme. The benefits of the scheme are not focussed too narrowly on its adherents. It is open to anyone and the money donated is "recycled" for the benefit of others. Overall it is a scheme about "giving" in order to lead a Christian life free of the burdens of debt.

The Battle is the Lords!  Read the full judgement here


31 May 2011: Still no word from the High Court.  We will let you know as soon as we hear any further news.  Thank you for your continuing prayers.

29 March 2011: Our High Court hearing has now concluded and the Honourable Justice Mallon has retired to consider her judgement. 

28 March 2011: The High Court meets today to hear our submissions. We ask for your prayers that the court will consider all the evidence available and we would be provided a full and fair hearing as they meet today and tomorrow. We pray that the Court will see our foundations, true heart, our words, and the effect of our deeds and that God would be glorified.

22 March 2011: The Charities Commission presented their 34 page submission to the High Court in preparation for the 28-29 March hearing.  The central thrust of the Commission’s submissions is that Liberty Trust is not a religious organisation. Neither do they accept that our activities provide public benefit and they continue to oppose the admission of evidence to the contrary. 


10 March 2011: Our lawyer, Ian Millard QC has presented his 48 page submission to the High Court in preparation for the 28-29 March hearing.  You are welcome to read it here.


8 Nov 2010: The High Court Hearing is to be 1.5 days commencing 28 March 2011.


23 Sept 2010:The Commission advises they intend to oppose our application for affidavits to be presented to the High Court.


10 Sept 2010: Routine judicial conference adjourned until 27 September. The Commission will, by then, have decided its attitude to the affidavits. See September newsletter.


8 Sept 2010: Affidavits from Dr Laurie Guy, Dr Frank Scrimgeour, Dr Viv Grigg, Kelvin Deal (chairman) & Ps Bruce McDonald (founder) lodged with the High Court pending Charities Commission's approval.  


17 August 2010: IRD advises they will postpone their decision until after the High Court hearing.


28 June 2010: Met with IRD in Manukau. 


26 May 2010: Inland Revenue advises they are reviewing our charitable status.  See June newsletter.


11 May 2010: Liberty Trust lodges appeal of CC decision to High Court.


15 April 2010: Charities Commission decision to remove Liberty Trust from Charities Register. 


20 Jan 2010: Met with Charities Commission in Wellington (following letters).


2 Sept 2009: Letter from Charities Commission advising they are reviewing our status.

8 Oct 2007: Liberty Trust approved as a charity by the Charities Commission.

29 July 1989: Liberty Trust approved as a charity & donee organisation by Inland Revenue.

1 July 1989: Liberty Trust commences operations as a New Zealand charitable trust, registered under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 for the purpose of advancing religion through teaching and demonstrating the Bible's principles of finance.