Give volunteers a tax break
Parliament could show it truly recognises the value of volunteers by all political parties agreeing to ensure taxation in no way affects reimbursement payments to volunteers according to Volunteering New Zealand.
“Such a move would give real meaning to the celebration of International Volunteer Day being celebrated on Wednesday 5 December,” said Tim Burns, Executive Director of Volunteering NZ.
“The present law is at best ambiguous about whether tax is liable on payments made to volunteers to help cover expenses which they have already paid out of their own pockets,”.
He said that should not be the case and that there should be no suggestion of tax being applied to any payments which refunded legitimate expenses.
Inland Revenue has recently published an Issues Paper on the subject, inviting public comment and it was important that organisations and individuals took the opportunity to send their comments to Inland Revenue which must be made by 14 December.
In one of the many events to mark International Volunteer Day, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne will be presented with a copy of a research report on the out-of-pocket costs incurred by volunteers. The research and report is the work of Victoria University honours student Letisha Tan.
Mr Dunne will also give an opening address for a special Business Links Seminar panel discussion on the subject “Should Charities Receive Tax Incentives” to be held at Victoria University’s Commerce School
“This will be one of many events for this special day being held throughout New Zealand from the Far North to Invercargill,” said Mr Burns.
“A full list is available from the Volunteering NZ website through this link http://www.volunteeringnz.org.nz/files/IVDToolkit/IVD_Activities.xls ,“ he said.