Destiny Church charities to be stripped of charitable status

Destiny Church could face a huge tax bill after two of its charities were told they'd be stripped of their charitable status.  

Charities Services announced that Destiny International Trust and and Te Hahi o Nga Matamua Holdings Limited will be removed from the Charities Register next month. 

The church is being removed from the list because of its failure to meet its annual return obligations.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Charities Registration Board announced it would be removing the two charities on December 20, 2017. 

The reason cited was the charities' "persistent failure to meet their annual return obligations".

The notices were part of the Department of Internal Affairs' standard practice for charities that have persistently failed to file annual returns.  

A spokesperson for Destiny Church said the charities were very disappointed with way the issue had been handled and requested the decision be recalled.   

"Destiny remains committed to meeting its requirements under the Charities Act for its 31st March 2017 annual returns which were only due 30 September 2017, and will continue to work with Grant Thornton NZ Audit Partnership to complete these returns by 1st December 2017, as it said it would," the spokesperson said.  

"Charities Services of Internal Affairs have been advised of this and the genuine reasons for why this return has been delayed. The 31st March 2016 annual return has been correctly filed and no criticism of it or its compliance has been received by the Charities. Nor is criticism is expected as it has been professionally audited."

The spokesperson said the decision would be appealed. 

Newshub.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Destiny Church itself was losing its charitable status. It has been corrected.