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Donations to tsunami relief funds

You can claim a deduction for a donation to tsunami relief, provided your donation is:

  • $2 or more
  • voluntary
  • made with no material benefit being received for the donation, and
  • given to a tsunami relief fund that is operated by a deductible gift recipient (DGR).

What is a voluntary donation?

A donation is voluntary only if it is made voluntarily. A promotion where a portion of the money paid for goods or services is donated to charity ('$1 for every $X spent will be donated to the ABC Fund') is an example of a donation that is not made voluntarily.

What is a material benefit?

The purchase of tickets to a benefit concert or dinner is an example of a situation where the purchaser receives a material benefit, even though the cost of the tickets may be well in excess of the value of the benefit provided. Of course, the attendee may wish to donate additional amounts voluntarily when purchasing the ticket or at the function, and these would be tax deductible gifts. The purchase of tickets in a lottery run by a charity is another example of a situation where the donor receives a material benefit (the chance to win a prize) in exchange for their donation. These are not tax deductible gifts. Items of insubstantial value such as plastic lapel pins or bumper stickers would not be a material benefit. Mere public recognition such as donor's names being announced on TV, radio or in newspapers would not be material benefits unless they amounted to advertising.

Copyright ATO, 21 February 2005.

This article is not a substitute for independent professional advice. We do not warrant the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information or material in this article. All information is subject to change without notice. We and each party providing material displayed in this article disclaim liability to all persons or organisations in relation to any action(s) taken on the basis of currency or accuracy of the information or material, or any loss or damage suffered in connection with that information or material. You should make your own enquiries before entering into any transaction on the basis of the information or material in this article. Please ensure you contact us to discuss your particular circumstances and how the information provided applies to your situation.

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