Announcements
PUBLISHED 18 October 2006

Tax incentives for charitable giving

A government discussion document released today canvasses views on possible tax incentives to encourage charitable giving of money, skills and time. It looks at increasing current rebates and deductions for donations, introducing a rebate in recognition of the value of volunteers' time, and the desirability of adopting tax incentives offered in the UK and Australia. Submissions close on 28 November. For more information see the media statement and the discussion document, "Tax incentives for giving to charities and other non-profit organisations".


Hon Peter Dunne
MP for Ohariu Belmont
Minister of Revenue
Associate Minister of Health

MEDIA RELEASE

Further tax incentives for charitable giving proposed

A government discussion document released today outlines possible tax incentives to encourage charitable giving of money, skills and time.

The discussion document, released by Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne, results from the post-election confidence and supply agreement between United Future and the Labour-led government.

"New Zealanders are a generous people," Mr Dunne said. "An estimated 1.3 million people take part in voluntary activities, and donations last year to charities and other non-profit organisations amounted to at least $356 million – and that's just from the people who claimed tax rebates for their donations.

"In turn, the charitable, community and voluntary sectors make an invaluable contribution to New Zealand’s social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being," Mr Dunne said.

"The discussion document looks at ways of improving on existing tax incentives, which consist of a donation rebate for individuals and a tax deduction for company donations and Maori authority donations.

"One way of doing that is to increase rebates and deductions for donations made by individuals, companies and Maori authorities. At present, people can claim a rebate on donations of up to $1,890. Companies and Maori authorities can claim deductions for donations they make, although the deductions cannot exceed 5 percent of the net income of the company or Maori authority.

"Another way to improve incentives is to introduce tax relief for volunteers in the form of a modest tax rebate in recognition of the value of the time they give to charities registered with the Charities Commission.

"The discussion document also canvasses views on incentives employed in Australia and the United Kingdom, which include "workplace giving" in the form of payroll deductions, a system of private charitable trusts, and making non-cash donations tax deductible.

"It seeks the views of individuals and organisations on the merits of these and other possibilities, asking them to rank the measures in order of importance to them.

"To ensure we get as much feedback as possible, representatives from the charitable, community and voluntary sectors and policy officials will be holding public meetings in five centres - Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

"I urge all those who are interested to send in a submission by 28 November," Mr Dunne said.

The discussion document, "Tax incentives for giving to charities and other non-profit organisations", is available at www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz.


List of public meetings to discuss possible changes

Centre: Wellington
Date and time: 31 October 2006, 9.30am (for 10am start) – 12.30pm
Venue: St Johns Conference Centre, Corner Willis and Dixon Streets, Wellington
To register please contact:
NZ Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations
(04) 385 0981
[email protected]

Centre: Christchurch
Date and time: 2 November 2006, 10.00am (for 10.30am start) – 1pm
Venue: Conference Room, Christchurch Community House, 141 Hereford Street, Christchurch
To register please contact:
Christchurch COSS
(03) 366 2050
[email protected]

Centre: Dunedin
Date and time: 3 November 2006, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Venue: Fullwood Room, Dunedin Centre, 1 Harrop Centre, Dunedin
To register please contact:
Dunedin COSS
(03) 471 6150
[email protected]

Centre: Hamilton
Date and time: 14 November 2006, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Venue: To be confirmed

Centre: Auckland
Date and time: 15 November 2006, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Venue: Lynfield Room, Fickling Centre, 546-548 Mt Albert Road, Three Kings, Auckland
To register please contact:
WADCOSS
(09) 838 7903
[email protected]