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Donating to a disaster relief appeal or attending an event

Information to know before making a donation to a fundraising appeal or attending an event for victims of a disaster.

Last updated 20 December 2021

Checking if the charity or DGR is legitimate

Before making a donation to a disaster relief appeal online, via social media, or over the phone, make sure the charity or deductible gift recipient (DGR) is legitimate. This includes instances where an individual is raising funds on behalf of a registered charity.

To check that the charity is registered and legitimate, you can search:

Donating money

You can usually claim a tax deduction for a donation to a DGR. Gifts of cash to the value of $2 or more to a disaster relief appeal are tax deductible if the organisation receiving the gift is endorsed as a DGR.

For most donations, you must retain a receipt to claim a deduction on your tax return. Most DGRs will give you a receipt as evidence of your donation. We will also accept third-party receipts.

You may give a donation of money to a crowdfunding platform. However, you can't claim a deduction if the recipient is not set up as a DGR.

If you donate to a bucket appeal that has been approved by us for a specific natural disaster (such as bushfires, severe storms, or flooding), you can claim a tax deduction equal to your total donations up to $10, without keeping a receipt.

For more information see Gifts and donations.

Examples of donations of money

Example 1: donation on social media

Fiona clicks on a link in her social media feed to donate to a natural disaster recovery fund. It takes her to the PayPal Giving Fund Australia donation page. She checks the details on the ABN Lookup and confirms it has DGR status. She donates $50 and the social media platform emails her a receipt which she files for tax time.

Fiona can claim a tax deduction for the donation.

End of example


Example 2: donation in a retail outlet (third-party receipt)

When buying groceries at the supermarket, Sebastian is asked if he’d like to donate to a rural assistance charity. He agrees to donate $30 on top of the groceries. He pays the total bill with a credit card and is given a receipt. The receipt shows the date and amount of the donation but doesn’t show the name of the charity. The transaction description on the receipt is ‘GIFTDGR’ followed by some numbers.

When Sebastian lodges his tax return his tax agent uses ABN Lookup to confirm the DGR status of the charity. His tax agent advises that the numbers are the charity’s ABN. As such, Sebastian can use the receipt from the supermarket as evidence of his claim for deduction of the donation.

The supermarket collects and remits GST on the taxable sales of groceries it makes. The $30 donated at the register isn't a taxable sale for GST purposes.

End of example


Example 3: donation via your bank

After a national disaster, Litsa’s bank launches a campaign to raise money, in partnership with a DGR charity. Litsa donates $50 from her account to the campaign through her phone banking app and the bank provides her with a transaction receipt.

The bank isn't a registered DGR but it has made arrangements to collect money as an agent for the charity it has partnered with for the campaign. The bank passes on the funds raised to the charity and receives tax receipts for each client who donates.

When the bank later provides the DGR receipt to Litsa, she can use that receipt as evidence to support her claim for a tax deduction.

Donations that the bank collects on behalf of the DGR aren't taxable sales made by the bank or the DGR.

End of example


Example 4: material benefit where a deduction can't be claimed

Kaira is an office worker. Each year her workplace gets involved in various appeals to raise money and awareness for good causes. Following the summer bushfires in Australia, her office has set up a stall in the foyer and is selling t-shirts showing support for the bushfires, at a cost of $35 each. The stall has been set up to raise money for an endorsed DGR. Kaira purchases a t-shirt.

Kaira can’t claim a deduction for the cost of the t-shirt as she has received a material benefit in return for her contribution to the bushfire appeal.

End of example


Example 5: bucket donation

Alex is attending a festival where volunteers are walking around, shaking a bucket to encourage patrons to donate to a Salvation Army bushfire appeal. Alex gives a donation of $5 to the bucket. She doesn’t get a receipt.

As this amount is under the ‘no receipt limit’ of $10 for bucket donations, Alex can claim a deduction for the $5 donation in her tax return.

End of example

Donating goods

If you donate goods such as groceries, clothes and other items to a DGR, you may be able to claim a tax deduction. Certain conditions apply.

Attending fundraising events

Many DGR fundraising events encourage contributions that provide minor benefits to those who contribute. Where a contributor receives a minor benefit, they may be entitled to a tax deduction.

Contributions made by individuals to DGRs for eligible fundraising events, such as fetes, balls, gala shows, dinners and charity auctions, may be tax deductible if they meet certain conditions.