Two hundred million dollars going unclaimed by Kiwis
New website promises a boost for charities and their supporters
Charity supporters and parents of school-aged children are missing out on $200 million that is sitting untouched and waiting to be claimed.
It’s a rebate that the government gives to almost anyone who makes a charitable donation over $5. But many New Zealanders either don’t know they can get a third of their donation back - or don’t know how to.
Now a website www.smartdonation.co.nz has been launched to make it easy and charities and schools are being encouraged to sign up.
Tax Management New Zealand (TMNZ), which set up Smart Donation, says that charities who partner with the website can use it as a way of saying thank you to their donors and giving something back to them for their support.
Chief Executive Chris Cunniffe says: “We already partner with a number of charities, who appreciate the opportunity to help the people who’ve supported them, by telling them about the rebate. Smart Donation cuts out the need for them to fill in forms or find old donation receipts and so takes most of the effort away. The charities can direct their donors to the website and we sort out the rest.”
Not all donors want the rebate, but TMNZ says they should still claim the money because they can donate it back to their favourite charity, getting them even more bang for their buck. All they need to do is tick a box and the rebate will go straight to the nominated charity.
About one in five people choose to do this and it’s the gift that keeps on giving, making their donation go even further, says Cunniffe.
KidsCan was one of the first
charities to partner with Smart Donation. “We’re
extremely grateful for the support of Tax Management NZ and
for the opportunity to benefit from Smart Donation. Being a
recipient charity has enabled us to reach even more Kiwi
kids in need, giving them a hand-up with the basics so they
can participate at school and make the most of their
educational opportunities,” says Julie Chapman, CEO &
Founder, KidsCan Charitable Trust.
They are thrilled that their donors can benefit too.
“We’re delighted that by being a Smart Donation partner we’re able to make it easy for our supporters to claim their donation rebate. It means a lot to be able to give something back to our supporters who, by their caring generosity, are helping us change for the better the lives of Kiwi kids living in hardship. Using Smart Donation is a fantastic way to say thank you. We’d encourage any charity to join Smart Donation, it’s a win-win for everyone, says Chapman.
TMNZ has a history of supporting charities, giving away a significant slice of its profits every year. Setting up Smart Donation was another way the business could help charities – and New Zealanders too.
The government established the tax rebate to encourage a culture of generosity in New Zealand, with the hope that more people would support charitable work and other non-profit organisations. The money comes from the government, so the charity still gets the full amount. Smart Donation has been approved by Inland Revenue to help donors make their claims.
“It’s part of the DNA of TMNZ to help charities and this was a logical thing for us to do sitting, as we do, in the heart of the tax system,” says Chris.
New Zealanders have up to four years to claim a rebate. That means they can get money back from donations made since 2014 – as long as they make their claim for 2014 by the end of March 2018. That includes donations to schools.
Smart Donation is free for charities and schools to sign up to and people who make a claim through the website may be charged a small administration fee of up to $20.
- ENDS –
About Tax Management New
TMNZ is New Zealand’s leading tax pooling provider and works very closely with the IRD to help businesses pay provisional tax. Smart Donation is a service it offers to help charities and donors claim back their donation rebates from IRD.
One of its key values is supporting charities, which is why it works closely with them to make sure they get even more money than they normally would.
Smart Donation is their way of giving back to the Kiwis who need it most.