Destiny Church charities have again failed to file their annual accounts, turning up the heat on the tax-exempt status of the controversial Christian group.
With Destiny already under a Charities Services probe over whether Brian Tamaki's church is guilty of breaching the Charities Act, the Herald on Sunday can reveal three Destiny charities have failed to meet the financial obligations set out by the Act.
Annual returns were due for all three by September 30, but despite being granted two-month extensions to November 30, Destiny members have still not provided the Charities Services with audited financial documents.
The charities under the microscope are Destiny International Trust, Destiny Church Auckland Trust and Te Hahi o Nga Matamua Holdings Limited. Their previous annual financials declared a combined income of $4.7 million.
Brian's wife, Hannah Tamaki, and senior Destiny minister David Kahu are officers in all three charities.
The Department of Internal Affairs confirmed the returns are late, that no more extensions will be given and the office of the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Jo Goodhew, has been informed.
"We consider it a significant and persistent breach of the Act when charities fail to file two or more annual returns at all, but for returns which are late we've found the most effective approach is to try and understand any issues they are having and help them file as soon as possible," an Internal Affairs spokesman said.
"In this case we understand that provisional accounts are complete but that there is an issue getting them audited. We have made our expectations and their responsibilities very clear but our main focus is to have their finalised returns published on the register as soon as possible and to work with them to try and avoid late filings in the future."
Goodhew says she is taking a Ministerial interest in the area of late filing and whether it should be grounds for charities to be stripped of tax-free status.
"Late filing is not in itself a reason for deregistration, nor is there a penalty available under the Act. However, this is an area which I am taking an interest in going forward, as part of the Government's ongoing programme of enhancing trust and confidence in the charitable sector," Goodhew said.
In response to Herald on Sunday enquiries on the late filing, Destiny Church cited not being able to find an auditor.
"We do take our obligations to the Charities Services very seriously," a spokeswoman said.
"We have found ourselves unable to file on time, perhaps like other charities, as it has been difficult to secure an auditor due to their increased workloads with the new XRB reporting standards and new audit standards.
"We have been in regular contact with the Charities Services in this regard.
"Our accounts are in the process of being audited and will be available on the Charities website once finalised."
It's not the first time Destiny charities have failed to register their annual accounts in time. In October 2014, a total of 14 associated charities were issued overdue notices.
A petition to strip Destiny of its tax-exempt status has attracted 124,000 supporters. The petition was set-up after Bishop Tamaki claimed in a sermon that gays, sinners and murderers were to blame for causing earthquakes.