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Claiming a donation tax deduction

Please note: none of the information on this page should be construed as financial advice. If you need advice on tax deductions, please seek independent financial advice by contacting your tax agent or the ATO .

Tax time

Making a tax deductible donation work in your favour

Making a charitable donation is a great way to give back to the community. The way donations are viewed by the Australian Taxation Office can also benefit you directly. You can claim donations on your tax return as a tax deduction.

Charity donations are a great way to lower your taxable income while giving back. Any donations you make to an endorsed charity over $2 can potentially be processed with your tax return to give you a better refund.

If you’re wanting to claim tax deductible donations this tax time, there are a few things you should know first. This article covers everything you need to know about making a tax deductible donation, from which organisations qualify, to how to claim them on your return.

If you’re looking to make a tax deductible donation, consider donating to Cancer Council Victoria. As an endorsed Deductible Gift Recipient, we are eligible to give tax deductible donation receipts. Your donation also goes a long way to cancer research and support- our work towards a cancer-free future.

Are donations tax deductible?

Yes, all tax deductible gifts over $2 to registered Deductible Gift Recipients (DGR) can be taken off your taxable income for the year. A DGR is a recognised, registered, and endorsed charity in the eyes of the ATO.

Gifts must be genuine, and be of no material benefit to the donor. For example, monthly financial contributions to a charity are tax deductible, but raffle tickets are not tax deductible.

If you are unsure if your chosen charity can receive tax deductible gifts as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). you can find out. All Deductible Gift Recipient charities can be found using the Australian Business Register’s ABN Lookup tool .

Why do charitable donations reduce taxable income?

Charitable donations are recognised by the Australian Government as being of great social benefit. To incentivise this giving, the Australian Tax Office grants an additional personal benefit - taking charity donations off personal taxable income to give the donor a greater tax refund.

What counts as tax deductible donations?

All kinds of donations are tax deductible, including:

  • One-off donations
  • Monthly or other regular donations
  • Donations to appeals
  • Corporate sponsorships

How much in donations can I claim on tax?

There is no real limit to how much you can claim on tax in general. However, gifts and donations cannot create tax loss. So if you’re claiming a large donation that reduces your taxable income to zero, your claim will be spread across a few financial years.

How much in donations can I claim on tax without receipts?

You can claim up to $10 of donations or gifts without having a receipt. Anything beyond that requires receipts, regardless if they were cash, electronic payments, or other forms of debit.

Are cash donations tax deductible?

Yes, cash donations to endorsed DGRs are tax deductible. It’s always best to get a receipt for tax deductible donations to make claiming easier.

Are anonymous donations tax deductible?

Yes, anonymous donations are tax deductible, if they are made to a DGR. Because your personal data is used to process an anonymous donation, you can get a receipt for an anonymous donation. It can also be proved using transaction data.

Are donated goods tax deductible?

A donated gift must be either money, property or financial assets like shares. Goods do not count as donations and cannot be claimed as a deduction.

How to claim a tax deduction through a gift or donation

Making and claiming a tax deductible donation is a fairly straightforward process. If you need help, it’s always best to contact a professional, like your tax agent. In very general terms, here’s how the deduction process works.

1.    Choose a charity

Choose a charity that aligns with your values, or a particular cause you support. For example, if you are interested in supporting cancer research, you might consider donating to Cancer Council Victoria.

Remember, you can only claim reductions from donations to a Deductible Gift Recipient charity. Always be sure to check the Deductible Gift Recipient status of your chosen charity.

2.    Make a donation

You can make a donation to your chosen DGR charity in any way you like. It could be online, in-person at a fundraiser, or over the phone. Just remember that it needs to be in money, property, or financial assets.

3.    Save your receipts

Always get a receipt for donations over $2. This will make claiming your deduction much easier, and will act as the proof that ultimately lowers your taxable income.

4.    Claim your deduction

When tax time rolls around, gather all your receipts and use them in your claim. If you use a registered tax agent for processing your tax return, give all of your receipts to them.

How your tax deductible donation helps

Making a charitable donation does so much more than boosting your tax return. When you donate to Cancer Council Victoria, you are supporting our work towards a cancer-free future.

We have over 75 years of experience in cancer research, prevention, education and support. Our aim is to reduce the impact of all cancers on all Australians, and with your help, we can keep our work going.

Give generously, lower your taxable income, and help people living with cancer.