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Home > AUSTRALIA > Pentecostal church given $ 660,000 in jobkeeper, then returns 3620% increase in profit | Australia news

Pentecostal church given $ 660,000 in jobkeeper, then returns 3620% increase in profit | Australia news

A wealthy Pentecostal church received $ 660,000 in job talks and later received a 3620% increase in profits and an increase in revenue of $ 1.2 million.

Hope Unlimited Church, a global church that began on the New South Wales Central Coast, revealed in applications to the charity regulator that last year it had a surplus of $ 1.6 million. Dollars, while receiving $ 660,000 in job talks.

The result was a huge increase in the profit of $ 43,355 that it released in 2019.

Revenue to the church also grew through the first year of the pandemic, rising from $ 2.8 million. In 2019 to $ 4 million. In 2020.

The church is led by Mark and Darlene Zschech, a well-known Christian singer who spent 25 years with Brian and Bobbie Houston in Hillsong before breaking out to form a new church.

Among the church’s supporters is Liberal MP Lucy Wicks, who has attended the church, spoken on stage, praised its work in parliament and described Mark and Darlene Zschech as “incredible people”.

Churches similar to other charities were eligible for the job if they predicted a 15% drop in revenue between March and September last year.

ABC has previously reported that about 3,500 religious units received $ 627 million in job talks by March, when the scheme ended. It reported that dozens of the country’s largest churches and religious groups did so while in surplus.

HopeUC was contacted for comment.

The Church has built a global following through campuses in India and the United States. Its applications to the Australian Charity and Non-Profit Commission show a decline in revenue from speaking engagements and events in 2020.

But the significant increase in “old deals” and “online campus yields” more than offset the shortage.

The government has been under pressure to repay money from units that received jobs, but later avoided declining revenues.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has previously said the government would welcome religious groups to pay the money back if they are able to.

Initially, pastors and other religious practitioners were not eligible for the Jobkeeper, but Frydenberg changed the eligibility rules in May last year to ensure they could receive the money.

Law professor at Monash University, Luke Beck, has previously argued that it was almost certainly unconstitutional. Beck said the district court had made it clear that the government could not directly fund religious activities.

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“If the case ever came to court, the taxpayer – funded clerical change would almost certainly be annulled,” he wrote in a piece for the university’s news release, Lens.

A Senate study has examined a proposal by the Greens to withhold Jobkeeper from companies earning more than $ 50ma a year, which required the grants despite later increasing their revenue.

At a hearing on Friday, the Australian Tax Office revealed that it had reviewed eligibility for 1,600 units, including 480 large companies, and found that 95% were eligible.

ATO had also stopped around $ 767 million. From being paid through eligibility.

“We have identified $ 470 million. In overpayments, of which we have recovered $ 194 million. And pursues $ 89 million. With $ 6 million. In dispute; and has decided not to pursue $ 180 million, ”said the ATO.

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