GST and fundraising dinners or similar functions


Terms we use

When we say:

  • you, we are referring to you as a non-profit organisation
  • fundraising dinner, we are referring to fundraising events such as gala events, '$1,000 a plate' dinners and charity auctions.
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Do you need to pay GST on the sale of tickets?

Generally, if you are registered for GST and you are selling tickets to a fundraising dinner or similar function in the course of your enterprise, you must pay GST on the tickets you sell. The purchasers of the tickets may be able to claim a GST credit if the expense is deductible for income tax purposes.

An enterprise covers commercial activities but does not include hobbies or employment. For GST purposes an enterprise is either:

  • a business
  • any activity conducted by a charity or religious institution.


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How much GST must you pay?

The GST you must pay is 1/11 of the price of the ticket.

For example, if you charge $1,100 for a ticket to attend the dinner, you must pay $100 GST to us:

= $1,100 ÷ 11
= $100

If you intend to raise $1,100, you must charge an additional 10% as the GST component. Therefore, you will need to charge a total of $1,210 for each ticket:

= $1,100 + ($1,100 x 10%)
= $1,100 + $110
= $1,210

Do you need to pay GST on the full price?

You must pay GST on the full amount of the ticket price, even if you intend to donate part of the ticket price to a non-profit organisation.

When a person attends a fundraising dinner, they receive a dinner in exchange for the purchase price of the ticket. If the attendee must pay the full ticket price to attend the dinner, splitting ticket prices into a dinner components and a gift components does not affect the GST status of the payment.


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Marie attends a '$1,000 a plate' dinner. Even though the value of the meal is $100, GST is payable on the ticket's full purchase price of $1,000 as Marie was required to pay $1,000 to attend the dinner.

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Do you need to pay GST on additional payments?

If you receive voluntary payments in addition to the ticket price and the additional payments are gifts to you, you do not have to pay GST on these voluntary amounts.

What is a gift?

Gifts are not subject to GST. For a payment to be a gift it must:

  • be made voluntarily
  • not provide a material benefit to the donor
  • be made in a spirit of generosity, with no expectation of receiving anything in return.



John attends a fundraising trivia night in aid of a charity and pays a $20 admission fee. Later, the 'hat is passed around' by the organisers and John contributes an additional $10 to the charity.

As John had to pay $20 to attend the trivia night, the $20 payment is subject to GST. However, the $10 gift is a gift and is not subject to GST.


Sally attends a charity auction and buys a clock. The clock is valued at $500, but Sally pays $1,000.

No part of the $1,000 can be treated as a gift. While the clock is only valued at $500, Sally had to pay $1,000 to purchase it. Therefore Sally has not made a voluntary payment without material benefit and the total $1,000 payment is subject to GST.

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What are input-taxed sales?

You may be able to treat the sales connected with your fundraising dinner as input-taxed sales if you are a:

  • charity
  • gift deductible entity
  • government school.

When you make an input-taxed sale, you do not have to pay GST on the price you charge for it. However, you cannot claim a GST credit for the GST in anything that you purchase that relates to making the sale.

Sales connected with the following fundraising events can be treated as input taxed:

  • a fete, ball, gala show, dinner, performance or similar event
  • an event where all goods are sold for $20 or less, where selling such goods is not a normal part of your business (except where the event involves the sale of alcohol or tobacco)
  • an event that has been approved by us as a fundraising event.

If you choose to have sales in connection with a fundraising event treated as input taxed, you must keep a record of this choice.


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If you hold the same type of fundraising event more than 15 times in a year, you cannot treat the sales made in connection with any of the events as input taxed.


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Can you obtain any fundraising concessions?

Eligible entities in the non-profit sector can obtain a number of fundraising concessions. Sometimes, where a minor benefit is received in return, a payment can be treated as a tax-deductible contribution.


    Last modified: 06 May 2014QC 16632