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Support for not-for-profits

Help for not-for-profits, including JobKeeper and Boosting cash flow for employers.

Last updated 28 April 2022

The JobKeeper Payment scheme finished on 28 March 2021. The scheme has been amended so we can make a JobKeeper payment to some entities in limited circumstances after 31 March 2022.

See also

JobKeeper changes for child care providers

From 20 July 2020, eligibility for JobKeeper stopped for approved child care providers. You cannot claim JobKeeper payments for a business participant or your employees whose ordinary duties relate principally to the operation of the child care service.

If you provide other services in addition to child care services, such as kindergartens, some of your employees may still be eligible. If an employee has mixed duties, they will only remain eligible if their ordinary duties in a fortnight do not principally relate to the operation of the approved child care service.

JobKeeper extension for eligible mixed services businesses

If you provide mixed services and have employees that were still eligible after 20 July 2020, you may be eligible for the JobKeeper extension for fortnights from 28 September 2020.

There are two JobKeeper extension periods. To be eligible for each period, you will need to meet an actual decline in turnover test. In calculating your actual decline in turnover you may need to consider whether government payments you received should be included in GST turnover.

For example, in 2020 an approved provider of child care services may have received the following grants from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE):

  • the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package – this payment is not for a supply and therefore is not included in current GST turnover
  • the Transition Payment paid between 13 July 2020 and 27 September 2020 – this payment is for a GST-free supply. To receive this payment, the approved provider entered into obligations with DESE. The payment is included in current GST turnover unless you’re an ACNC registered charity and have elected to exclude government grants.

ACNC registered charities (other than universities or schools) may have elected to exclude government grants from their turnover calculations for the purpose of qualifying for JobKeeper. Those that did not may be able to lodge a late election to exclude government grants from their turnover calculations.

You can find more information on whether a government grant is for a supply at GST and grants.

Donating refunded membership fees

Given the physical distancing restrictions in place as a result of COVID-19, many not-for-profit organisations such as sporting clubs and cultural organisations are providing their members with full or partial refunds for 2020 membership fees. Some organisations are also providing an option to donate the refundable fees.

If the organisation provides this option, they must offer their members a clear choice of either:

  • receiving a refund
  • donating all or part of their refund, either to      
    • their organisation
    • another organisation.

Members who choose to donate their refunds can only claim a tax deduction if they donate to a deductible gift recipient (DGR). To be tax deductible they must not have received or retained any member benefits in return for their gift or donation. Member benefits include any form of preferred member status in current or future years, including on season resumption.

Members can express a preference to the DGR on how they would like their donation to be used. However, the DGR maintains the right to determine how they use and distribute the funds. Members should keep records of their donation to help them prepare their tax return.

A sporting club does not qualify as a DGR, so a donor cannot receive a tax deduction for a gift or donation made directly to a sporting club. However, the club may invite its members to donate to the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF) which is a DGR.

A donor can nominate an ASF registered organisation or project as a preferred beneficiary and receive a tax deduction for their donation or gift. However, the ASF is not required to allocate that donation to the nominated organisation or project.

Start of example

Example 1 – no deduction for donating partially refunded membership fee to non-DGR

In January 2020, Ruby purchases a $100 annual membership for her football club. Her membership includes a season pass to attend home games as well as discounted food and drink at club bars and restaurants. Due to the physical distancing restrictions put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 season is cancelled after round two and club venues are closed.

The football club offers members a refund of $85. This takes into account that some membership benefits were used in the short season. Ruby chooses to donate her $85 refund back to her club to support them. She is unable to claim a tax deduction for this donation as her football club is not endorsed as a deductible gift recipient (DGR).

End of example


Start of example

Example 2 – claiming partially refunded memberships as donations

Gary donates his partially refunded membership to the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF), which is a deductible gift recipient (DGR), via his football club. The ASF gives Gary a receipt for the amount of his donation. He can claim this as an $85 tax deduction. Gary can nominate an ASF project that supports his football club as a preferred beneficiary. However, the ASF has absolute discretion as to how they allocate the donation, and they may choose to allocate it to a different ASF project.

End of example

For more information see:

Amended guidelines for ancillary funds

The guidelines for private and public ancillary funds have been amended to encourage increased distributions to deductible gift recipients (DGRs) as a result of COVID-19.

Private and public ancillary funds that exceed their minimum distribution rate for 2019–20 and 2020–21, by a total of 5 percentage points or more, will have a lower minimum distribution rate in future years.

To find out if you are eligible, see:

See the following guidelines:

Australian disaster relief funds

The COVID-19 pandemic was declared a disaster from 18 March 2020 for the purpose of tax-deductible donations to COVID-19 relief funds. Certain Australian disaster relief funds are able to receive tax-deductible donations from 18 March 2020.

In order to receive tax-deductible donations, Australian disaster relief funds will need to:

  • be established for the relief of people affected by COVID-19
  • apply to the ATO for DGR endorsement as a disaster relief fund for the purpose of COVID-19
  • be registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

Donations will be tax-deductible when made within two years from 18 March 2020 (when the pandemic was announced).

A separate disaster relief fund is required when a new disaster is declared. Funds established for bushfire relief purposes cannot be used for COVID-19 related relief.

For more information, see List of disasters.