3 Oct 2017

Destiny Church group could lose tax-free charity status

6:16 pm on 3 October 2017

Destiny Church has been given notice from the Department of Internal Affairs that two of its charities will be deregistered.

Destiny School

Destiny School Photo: RNZ / Brad White

Destiny International Trust and Te Hahi o Nga Matamua Holdings have been issued a Notice of Intention to Remove from the Register, meaning they would lose their tax-exempt charitable status, after failing to file their annual financial returns for 2016 and 2017.

The charities have consistently ignored warnings from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).

Destiny Church Auckland was at risk of being deregistered as well, but was saved after it filed a return for 2016 on Friday. Its 2017 return is outstanding, but the DIA threshold for a notice being issued is two outstanding returns.

Destiny International Trust and Te Hahi o Nga Matamua have up to 20 working days to object or file their two overdue returns.

DIA spokesperson Steve Corbett said the notice to remove the charities from the register followed standard practice.

"Sections 31 to 36 of the Charities Act outline the statutory process for deregistering charities. We are unable to comment further while this process is under way."

Last week Checkpoint revealed Destiny School, a private school run by Destiny Church, had applied for help from KidsCan to feed and clothe some of its students, despite charging up to $3000 for admission.

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