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Further tax incentives for charitable giving

Media release
Embargoed to 10.30am,
Wednesday, 18 October 2006


Further tax incentives for charitable giving proposed

A government discussion document released today outlines possible tax incentives to encourage charitable giving of money, skills and time.

The discussion document, released by Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen and Revenue Minister Peter Dunne, results from the post-election confidence and supply agreement between United Future and the Labour-led government.

“New Zealanders are a generous people,” Mr Dunne said. “An estimated 1.3 million people take part in voluntary activities, and donations last year to charities and other non-profit organisations amounted to at least $356 million – and that’s just from the people who claimed tax rebates for their donations.

“In turn, the charitable, community and voluntary sectors make an invaluable contribution to New Zealand’s social, cultural, environmental and economic well-being,” Mr Dunne said.

“The discussion document looks at ways of improving on existing tax incentives, which consist of a donation rebate for individuals and a tax deduction for company donations and Maori authority donations.

“One way of doing that is to increase rebates and deductions for donations made by individuals, companies and Maori authorities. At present, people can claim a rebate on donations of up to $1,890. Companies and Maori authorities can claim deductions for donations they make, although the deductions cannot exceed 5 percent of the net income of the company or Maori authority.

“Another way to improve incentives is to introduce tax relief for volunteers in the form of a modest tax rebate in recognition of the value of the time they give to charities registered with the Charities Commission.

“The discussion document also canvasses views on incentives employed in Australia and the United Kingdom, which include “workplace giving” in the form of payroll deductions, a system of private charitable trusts, and making non-cash donations tax deductible.

“It seeks the views of individuals and organisations on the merits of these and other possibilities, asking them to rank the measures in order of importance to them.

“To ensure we get as much feedback as possible, representatives from the charitable, community and voluntary sectors and policy officials will be holding public meetings in five centres - Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

“I urge all those who are interested to send in a submission by 28 November,” Mr Dunne said.

The discussion document, “Tax incentives for giving to charities and other non-profit organisations”, is available at www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz.

--

List of public meetings to discuss possible changes

Centre Date and time Venue
Wellington 31 October 2006
9.30am (for 10am start) – 12.30pm St Johns Conference Centre
Corner Willis and Dixon Streets
Wellington
To register please contact:
NZ Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations
(04) 385 0981
projects[at]nzfvwo.org.nz

Christchurch 2 November 2006
10.00am (for 10.30am start) – 1pm Conference Room
Christchurch Community House
141 Hereford Street
Christchurch
To register please contact:
Christchurch COSS
(03) 366 2050
ccoss[at]ihug.co.nz

Dunedin 3 November 2006
9.30am – 12.30pm Fullwood Room
Dunedin Centre
1 Harrop Centre
Dunedin
To register please contact:
Dunedin COSS
(03) 471 6150
sue.dcoss[at]paradise.net.nz

Hamilton 14 November 2006
9.30am – 12.30pm To be confirmed

Auckland 15 November 2006
9.30am – 12.30pm Lynfield Room
Fickling Centre
546-548 Mt Albert Road
Three Kings
Auckland
To register please contact:
WADCOSS
(09) 838 7903
wendy[at]wadcoss.org.nz


ENDS

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