A public ruling, when issued, is the published view of the Commissioner of State Revenue (the Commissioner) on the particular topic to which it relates. It therefore replaces and overrides any existing private rulings, memoranda, manuals and advice provided by the Commissioner in respect of the issue(s) it addresses.
Where a change in legislation or case law (the law) affects the content of a public ruling, the change in the law overrides the public ruling—that is, the Commissioner will determine the tax liability or eligibility for a concession, grant or exemption, as the case may be, in accordance with the law.
To me, the word ‘benevolent’ in the composite phrase ‘public benevolent institution’ carries with it the idea of benevolence exercised towards persons in need of benevolence, however manifested. Benevolence in this sense seems to me to be quite a different concept from benevolence exercised at large and for the benefit of the community as a whole even if such benevolence results in relief of or reduction in poverty and distress. Thus it seems to me that ‘public benevolent institution’ includes an institution which in a public way conducts itself benevolently towards those who are recognisably in need of benevolence but excludes an institution, which although concerned, in an abstract sense, with the relief of poverty and distress, manifests that concern by promotion of social welfare in the community generally.
The fact that an institution charges for services does not preclude it from being characterised as a public benevolent institution.6
Commissioner of State Revenue
Date of issue: 30 June 2010
|Public Ruling||Issued||Dates of effect|
|GEN005.3||30 June 2010||30 June 2010||Current|
|GEN005.2||3 July 2009||30 June 2009||29 June 2010|
|GEN005.1||24 February 2009||24 February 2009||29 June 2009|
|Supersedes Revenue Ruling G 4.3||1 July 2005||1 July 2005||23 February 2009|