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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Carberry

Have you been generous? Here’s how to claim gifts and donations

Have you donated to organisations with the 'deductible gift recipients' (DGRs) status throughout the financial year?

gifts and donations

For you to claim a tax deduction for a gift, it needs to meet the following four conditions:

  • The gift must be made to a deductible gift recipient. We call entities that are entitled to receive tax deductible gifts 'deductible gift recipients' (DGRs).

  • The gift must truly be a gift. A gift is voluntary transfer of money or property where you receive no material benefit or advantage.

So if you have contributed to a fundraising effort by purchasing a ticket to a charity gala dinner, this cannot be claimed as you are receiving a benefit in return.

  • The gift must be money or property, which includes financial assets such as shares.

  • The gift must comply with any relevant gift conditions. For some DGRs, the income tax law adds extra conditions affecting the types of deductible gifts they can receive.

Deductions for gifts should only be claimed by the person that makes the gift.

How much to claim?

How much you can claim depends on the nature of the gift. For a monetary donation, it is the amount of the gift (but it must be at least $2).

For gifts of property, there are different rules which depend upon the type of property and the property value.

You can claim the deduction of the donation in the tax return for the income year in which the gift is made (however in some circumstances you can choose to spread the tax deduction over five income years).

Keep all the receipts from donations as these will serve as a way to substantiate the deduction.

Bushfire and flood donations

You can claim a tax deduction on donations between $2 and $10 towards bucket collections for bushfire and flood victims (conducted by approved organisations) equal to your contribution without a receipt. Donations over $10 require a receipt to substantiate the claim.

What you can't claim

To clear up any confusion, you CANNOT claim supposed gifts or donation items that provide you with any sort of personal benefit, including but not limited to:

  • raffle or art union tickets

  • items such as chocolates and pens

  • the cost of attending fundraising dinners, even if the cost exceeds the value of the dinner

  • membership fees

  • payments to school building funds made, for example, as an alternative to an increase in school fees

  • payments where you have an understanding with the recipient that the payments will be used to provide a benefit for you


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