Equal opportunity groups are calling for an end to the centuries-long discrimination faced by religious groups, saying they should have access to the same taxation rates as everyone else.
For years religions have been overlooked when it comes to taxation, while their non-religious counterparts enjoy ongoing opportunities to pay tax to the ATO. It’s a discrepancy that needs to be addressed, argues Gemma Landry from Equal Opportunity Australia.
“No-one should be treated differently just because of their religious beliefs – that’s discrimination. It’s 2022 for goodness sake. It is simply not fair that these groups do not have access to the same taxation rates that the rest of us take for granted,” she said.
She said the discrimination was unacceptable and could lead to a two-tiered society. “We don’t want to see these groups singled out and treated differently, just because of what they believe in. These groups are missing out on important opportunities to contribute financially to their country and their community,” she said.
One religious leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he’d always felt left out of the taxation system. “I see the tax returns of my friends who run small businesses and I feel excluded. They get to pay 25%, 27% sometimes even 30% taxation rates. And for me? Nothing. Literally nothing. My tax rate is zero”.