Claiming tax credits for donations 101

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Every year New Zealanders generously donate to a variety of charities and organisations. In this blog, we would like to shine light on how to claim tax credits for donations.

Who can claim

  • You need to claim as an individual, not on behalf of a trust, partnership or company
  • You earned a taxable income during the tax year in which you are claiming a donation
  • You were a New Zealand tax resident at any time during the tax year

Although companies cannot claim a tax credit for donations, they are able to claim the donation as a taxable expense.

What you can claim

You can claim tax credits for donations of $5 and more if

  • The donation was to an approved charity or organisation
  • It did not provide any direct benefit to you or your family
  • Was not given, bequeathed, done or appointed by will

How much you can claim

The total you can claim in a tax year is the lesser of

  • 33% of your total donations or
  • 33% of your taxable income

This is provided the total amount of donation does not exceed your taxable income.

If your total donations were more than your taxable income, you can split your donations with your spouse or partner, learn more about this here.

A word on receipts

You need a receipt for every donation you want to claim.

The receipt needs to:

  • be in your name, or your spouse or partner’s name
  • show the amount and date of the donation
  • clearly state that it’s for a donation
  • be signed by an authorized person
  • be on the organisation’s letterhead or show its name and official stamp
  • show the organisation’s IRD numberor registration number with Charities Services
  • show the word ‘copy’ or ‘replacement’ if it’s a replacement receipt.

Receipts can be submitted online.

Find more information on tax credits for donations on IRD’s website.

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