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Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

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Tax time is fast approaching.

While going through your income and expenses over the past financial year can be a taxing affair, there are some easy ways to minimise the stress and boost your tax refund through a charitable donation.

Donating to charity is not only a great way to give back and create positive change in developing communities, it also helps reduce your taxable income. This means you’ll pay less tax, while helping refugees, children and mothers in need.

Most of the donations you’ve made to charity over the past year are tax deductible, so start gathering those receipts and counting how much you’ve given back, to get back on your tax refund.

Whether you’re making a regular donation, or donating for the first time, we’ve got five quick tips to help you make the most out of your giving.

Are all donations tax deductible?

Yes, charitable donations can be tax deductible. However, not all charitable organisations do qualify for this initiative. To put it simply, you can only claim a tax return for gifts or donations to organisations that have the status of ‘deductible gift recipients (DGR). DGR’s are simply charities or organisations that are officially registered to receive tax deductible gifts. You can find more information on this below. 

To review more details on what types of charities qualify for this initiative you can read more on the ATO website.

How a tax deductible donation can boost your tax return

There are a range of factors to consider when making a charitable donation to boost your tax return. We outline these considerations below. 

1 – Make sure your charity is registered

“Gift” donations (when you donate money or property to charity without receiving any material benefit in return) can only be claimed on your tax return if your charity has been endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR).

You can check whether your chosen charity is reputable and registered as a DGR, on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission website.

 

Does claiming a tax deductible donation affect the amount of money a charity receives?

Claiming a tax deduction from a gift donation doesn’t affect the amount of money the charity receives, just what you’re entitled to deduct at tax time.

It is a mutually beneficial gift which reduces your taxable income, and provides support to disadvantaged individuals and communities.

 

2 – Keep your donation receipts

Donations that are $2 or more are tax deductible. Get and keep the receipt of any donation you make in case you need to show your tax agent or accountant, or the ATO. The ATO recommends keeping receipts for five years after completing your tax return in case they need to ask you to substantiate your claim.

You can keep a record of your tax deductions and income in one place on the myDeductions app.

Are companies and businesses able to claim tax deductible donations?

Businesses can claim donations to charity on their taxes just like individuals. Tax time is a great opportunity to amp up workplace giving programs or social responsibility schemes.

As a business owner, or executive, all you need to do is donate a cash gift to your chosen charity and keep the receipt. The ATO will recognise your donation as a deductible gift to charity.

 

3 – Know and record your “contributions”

In addition to gift donations, you may be able to claim a tax deduction on any “contributions” you’ve made to charity.

A contribution is when you receive something with a monetary value from the charity in return for your donation. For example, a ticket to a fundraising dinner would not be considered as a gift donation but it may be considered as a contribution.

You may be able to claim a part of your contribution as a tax deduction.

 

4 – Talk to a tax agent/accountant

The amount you can claim will depend on the type of gift or contribution you make. If you’re unsure about what and how much you can claim as a tax deduction, or sifting through your income and expenses over the past year just seems too time-consuming or complicated, consider visiting a tax agent or accountant.

 

– Support a charity or cause that matters to you

If you’re at a loss at which charity to choose, but want to make a donation for tax purposes, a good strategy is to think about what matters to you.

Choosing a charity for individual donations

Individuals might wish to choose a charity that aligns with their personal values and ethics. Some charities might relate to your family history or challenges you’ve faced in the past. Tax refund time is an opportunity to support others facing similar circumstances, and help people in need overcome them.

You may also reflect upon your circumstances and donate to support those living in conditions different to what you’ve experienced. Tax time can be used as a moment of reflection, to be thankful we are who we are, and give back to those in need.

In either case, you might decide to sponsor a community, or donate to the Afghanistan food crisis. These are only some ways to choose a charity at tax time, but what’s important is that you give to a cause that matters to you.

Choosing a charity for corporate donations

Businesses and corporations could align their choice with their company values or culture. For example, if you’re a recruiter, you may wish to support communities facing heavy unemployment or poverty rates. Caterers might donate to feed children in Afghanistan, and communication-based organisations could donate school supplies to support education.

We also have a range of other initiatives which may catch your interest, such as donating to our Ukraine Emergency Appeal. You can view our selection of initiatives on the ChildFund Appeals page.


 

Give Back to Get Back

If you haven’t donated to charity in the past financial year, it’s not too late! Donations made before 30th June, in any amount above $2, are considered tax deductible, and will raise the value of your tax return.

All you need to do is search for charities online, choose a cause that you care about, and make a donation. If you would like to support a developing community, visit our donation portal now.

For more information on charity donations and tax deductions, visit the Tax Office and ACNC websites.

Calculate your tax benefit

Use our tax calculator to estimate the potential tax benefit of your donation.

If you donate

$

On a before tax income of

$

The actual cost of your donation is

$xx.xx a xxxx

Because you save

$xx.xx a year on tax

This table is based upon 2018-2019 ATO individual Income Tax rates. The above rates do not include the Medicare Levy of 2%. The exact level of your tax deductibility will vary depending on your present financial circumstances. Please seek assistance from an independent taxation professional for formal guidelines.

 

Children are hungry and mothers are desperate in Afghanistan’s latest crisis

A combination of decades of conflict, years of drought, and economic turmoil has led to a crippling food crisis and is pushing millions of children and their families into extreme poverty.

By ChildFund Australia

In the remote villages of Herat Province, where Afghanistan shares its border with Iran and Turkmenistan, hunger is a daily burden for many children and their families.

For widowed or single mothers such as Maliha* (pictured below) and their children, they are barely surviving.

Maliha lives with five of her children on a barren plateau in Herat. Her children, who are under the age of 12, and in urgent need of food and nutrition.

Maliha and her children have been living on bread and tea.
During the harsh Afghan winter earlier this year, Maliha lost her five-year-old son Amir*. He died in his sleep during a night when the temperatures dropped below freezing. Maliha found his little body, frozen, in the morning.
The days before his death, Amir had been undernourished because of a lack of food and sick with flu-like symptoms, but Maliha could not afford to take him to the doctor.
“I wish no mother to suffer the way I have,” Maliha said. “I lost a part of my heart, just because of poverty. What a mother feels in her heart after losing her children cannot be described with words.”

A combination of decades of conflict, recent years of drought, and worsening economic instability since late 2021 has led to a crippling food crisis in Afghanistan.

Nearly 9 million Afghans are at risk of starvation, according to the United Nations World Food Program and Food and Agriculture Organization. Two million children are already malnourished.

There are few job opportunities for women in Afghanistan, and for widowed or single mothers like Maliha the chances of earning a stable income to support and feed their children are almost impossible.

Maliha and her children have been surviving on a few dollars a week, which they earn from gathering licorice roots near their village.

The roots grow deep in the ground, and it is difficult for Maliha’s children to dig them out with their little hands so they often wait until a tractor works the ground and brings the roots to the surface.

It takes up to three days for Maliha and her children to collect four kilograms of roots, which is the amount they need to earn US$1 to buy basic foods such as bread, rice or sugar. If they are lucky, Maliha and her children eat rice once a week.

Desperate circumstances, heartbreaking choices

The United Nations Development Programme estimates that 97 per cent of Afghanistan’s population – almost 39 million people – could fall below the poverty line this year without emergency assistance.

In Herat Province, where Maliha and her children live, the impact of the food crisis is particularly concerning. A disproportionate number of households – 15 per cent – compared to the rest of the country (5 per cent) are run by women, mostly single mothers or widows, living with little to no income.

Not long ago in Maliha’s village there were about 100 families, many of whom farmed wheat for a living. Families who were better off would often give a third of their harvest to poorer families. This is how everyone in the community survived.
Years of drought have made it impossible to continue the agricultural and farming practices that once sustained communities like Maliha’s. Today, there are less than 30 families in Maliha’s village.
Many families have fled their homes. Those who can afford it have left their village in search for work and food elsewhere, while the poorest families like Maliha’s have had no choice but to stay.

Afghanistan’s economy, which has long been heavily dependent on foreign aid, is on the brink of collapse.

The withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan in 2021, and the subsequent takeover of the Taliban, led to countries such as the US and Germany suspending aid, and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund halting payments.

Basic services such as healthcare and education that were dependent on international support have been disrupted. Vulnerable families like Maliha’s, who once received support from the government, are now facing desperate circumstances and have been forced to make heartbreaking choices to survive.

Without money to buy food for their children, parents have been forced to take their children out of school to work or marry.

Maliha had no choice but to agree to an arranged marriage for her 13-year-old daughter to pay off a debt.

Young girls who enter marriages are more likely to face a future of isolation, poor mental health, abuse and sexual exploitation, and high rates of maternal mortality.

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Emergency support for women and children

ChildFund Alliance member, WeWorld, is one of the few international humanitarian organisations working in Afghanistan in response to the crisis.

WeWorld’s National Coordinator in Afghanistan, Jailan, described the situation on the ground as “one of the worst emergencies” he had seen in the 12 years of working with humanitarian groups in the country.

“A lack of basic human and civil rights, and the impacts of poverty and drought have really broken people,” he said. “Families are desperate for food. Children are living in extreme poverty and do not have even a third of the food that they should be eating a day.”

“The stories are heartbreaking.

“When I heard of Maliha’s story I was shocked and devastated that this had happened.”

ChildFund Australia is working with WeWorld to respond to the crisis in Afghanistan by providing emergency cash transfers to vulnerable families in Herat Province, specifically women-led households with children.

*Individuals’ names have been changed.

The cash provided to families will be enough for them to buy food and water, and pay for health care for their children during the crisis.
Cash transfers have long been used as an efficient and trusted means to help families facing conflict and disaster.
They provide families with flexibility and uphold their dignity, allowing them to decide and buy the food – and other essentials – they need.

Your support can help save the lives of children in Afghanistan.

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