This blog post will shed light on tax-deductible donations in Australia along with what you are allowed to claim and what you can’t claim. Let’s get started:

When a Gift or Donation is Deductible?

You are allowed to claim a tax deduction for a gift or donation to an organisation if it supports deductible gift recipient (DGR). To claim a deduction, you need a person who gives a donation or gift and it needs to meet the following requirements:

  • The donation or gift must be made to a DGR.
  • It should truly be a donation or gift, which means you are transferring property or money without expecting to receive any material benefit in return. A material benefit that has a monetary value.
  • It should be property or money – it can include financial assets such as shares.
  • It needs to comply with any relevant gift conditions – for some DGRs, the income tax law adds requirements affecting the type of deductible donations they can receive.

DGRs sometimes allow a business to receive donations on their behalf. For instance, a supermarket may be allowed to accept a donation at the register that they then send to the DGR. You are allowed to claim a deduction for a donation or gift you make in this way, if:

  • it meets the above 4 requirements
  • you obtain a receipt from the third party.

Tax Deductible Donations Limit in Australia

You can claim as much as you want, but there’s a limit to how much of your donation you can claim in a single financial year. This means that while a donation deduction could reduce your taxable income to zero for the year, you can’t create a loss. The amount you can claim as a deduction is based on the type of gift:

  • Gifts of money: you are allowed to claim the amount of the gift, but it should be $2 or more.
  • Gifts of property or shares: there are different rules based on the value and type of the property.
  • Gifts under the Heritage and Cultural programs: there are some circumstances where donations can be deductible

If you get a token item for your donation, you will still be able to claim a deduction. Token items are things without material value that are used to promote the DGR, such as stickers, lapel pins, and wristbands.

You can claim the deduction for your gift in the financial year in which you give the gift. In some cases, you may elect to spread the tax deduction over time of up to 5 income years.

Maintaining Records of Gifts and Donations

It is necessary to keep records of all tax-deductible contributions and gifts you make.

Records you need to maintain may include:

  • receipts for contributions or donations
  • a signed letter from eligible organisations that makes confirmation of the donation or contribution amount

If you get a minor benefit for your contribution, the value of the benefit must be shown. Most DGRs will provide you with a receipt for your donation, but they don’t need to. If you don’t have a receipt, you are still allowed to claim a deduction by using other records, such as bank statements. If you don’t know what records you should manage, you can get help from a tax accountant in Melbourne.

If you receive a receipt for a deductible gift from a DGR, the receipt must show:

  • the name of the authority, fund, or institution to which the donation has been made
  • Australian Business Number of DGR
  • that it is for a gift.

If you give a gift through a workplace giving program, your record can be from either:

  • your payment summary or income statement
  • a written evidence from your employer or a receipt from a third party.


Now you know what you can claim on donations and gifts and the records you need to maintain to claim possible deductions. If you are unaware of these deductions, you can seek help from Reliable Melbourne Accountants. We can help you claim potential deductions on your donations or gifts.

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