50 Key Messages – Tax-Deductible Giving

The end of the financial year is fast approaching so it is time to give those last minute tax-deductible donations to your favourite charities. But how common is claiming tax-deductible donations in Australia?

The annual ACPNS investigation of tax-deductible donations revealed that in 2015-16 33.4% of taxpayers claimed tax-deductible donations totalling $2.9 billion. The average donation was $633.72, while the median donation was $110. This is similar to the results from Giving Australia where the average donation was $714.61.

The data has consistently showed that a greater proportion of female taxpayers claim deductions than male taxpayers, although male taxpayers give more on average.

Not surprisingly, the more one earns, the more one claims as a tax-deductible donation. Similarly, taxpayers in higher income brackets are more likely to claim deductions for donations than those in lower income brackets (e.g. 57.15% of taxpayers in the $1 million or more income band claimed a deduction, compared to 33.4% of all taxpayers).

Not all donations by individuals are tax-deductible, often because the recipient organisation is not a DGR such as most religious organisations. Even if the donation is tax-deductible many are not claimed by individual taxpayers for a range of reasons. Giving Australia revealed that the most common reason for not claiming a tax‑deductible donation was choosing not to make any claims, followed by not keeping receipts.

Before donating, 16.7% of survey respondents checked the organisation had tax-deductible status, 5.8% checked it was a Public Benevolent Institution and nearly 12% checked the organisation was registered with the ACNC. Nearly 60% did none of these before making a donation, perhaps because they already knew the organisation’s DGR status.

To read the latest Examination of Tax-Deductible Donations Made By Individual Australian Taxpayers in 2015–16 , go to https://eprints.qut.edu.au/119001/

To read the Giving Australia full reports and factsheets, go to https://www.communitybusinesspartnership.gov.au/about/research-projects/giving-australia-2016/

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