People who attend churches regularly can avoid being charged a $2.50 charge to pay for food and drink in their worship services.
The ABC understands the charge is a temporary measure meant to ease the burden on people with low incomes.
The Salvation Army says churches are responsible for their own food and beverage costs.
It says churches have a statutory duty to make reasonable arrangements to meet the needs of the congregation and to assist the parishioners in the administration of the church.
The charge is temporary and will not affect people’s ability to attend services.
But the Salvation Army’s national director of corporate affairs, Chris Stokes, says there’s no way the church will be able to meet its financial obligations in the short-term.
“We’ve got some very tough times ahead for us in the years ahead, but that’s part of our plan, our plan to ensure that we’re able to provide the services that we do and provide services that our members need,” he said.
The federal government announced this week it would lift the 10 per cent surcharge on church memberships, allowing churches to continue charging people for services they can’t provide themselves.
It was announced after a series of lawsuits and other legal action by people who said they were charged too much for their services.
“The fact that the federal government has taken the position that we’ve been paying for these services is not the same as saying that the church is paying for its own operating costs,” Mr Stokes said.
“If the church wants to pay the bill, it’s up to the church to do that.”