Issue 2: How will gifts and donations be treated under GST?
Non-interpretative – straight application of the law
Gifts to non-profit bodies are not consideration
For a payment to be considered a gift it must be unfettered, that is, there must be no obligations to do anything in recognition of the gift and no expectation on the part of the donor to receive anything in return for donation. The definition of a gift is contained in Division 30 ITAA 1997.
Paragraph 9-17(2) specifically excludes a gift made to a non-profit body from being consideration for a supply. 'Gift' and 'non-profit body' are the essential terms in this paragraph. It follows that if there is a gift to a non-profit body there will not be a taxable supply, unless there is another supply made for the consideration (gift).
A payment will not be a gift where there is a contractual obligation on the part of the charity or non-profit organisation to use the funds in a specified way or the provision of a material benefit to the donor.
A payment made in return for a material benefit or an enforceable obligation to use the funds for a specified purpose is consideration for a supply. The organisation receiving the payment has supplied something in return for the payment.