Vikki and Chris, from Western Australia, were planning their wedding when a pamphlet from ChildFund Australia arrived in the mail, asking for support for children living in poverty.
Vikki and Chris (pictured above and below) responded, and that year they began a lifelong commitment to not only each other but to helping children. “We thought that it would be a good way to start our marriage doing something good for someone else,” Vikki says.
Seventeen years later, Vikki and Chris, who are still happily married, have turned their unwavering support for children into a legacy by writing a gift in their Will to ChildFund.
“We support a number of charities, but ChildFund is by far the one that gets most of our support because we feel that there are so many children that don’t have opportunities, and we want to make sure we can help change that,” Vikki says.
“Chris and I don’t have children, and our families all have enough money to support themselves, so we wanted to make sure that any money that we have when we pass away goes towards doing good. We feel that if it goes to ChildFund, it can help children to get an education, and help families with what they need to support their children in the long term.”
Vikki works with a bus company, and Chris is a fitter machinist. Writing a gift in your Will to a charity is not only a worthwhile act that wealthy people can do, says Vikki.
“I would say that before leaving something to people who already have many possessions, think about people who are less fortunate,” she says.
When Chris lost his job several years ago, things became tough for the couple, but they felt strongly about continuing their support for children. It was about setting priorities, says Vikki.
“We just feel that many children don’t have the luxuries that we have; they are struggling just to get basic things like clean water.”
A fortunate childhood
Both Vikki and Chris were born in Kalgoorlie and enjoyed the freedom of playing among nature in the countryside, but they know for many children in developing communities in similar rural areas, this is not the case.
“Chris and I both had fun childhoods,” Vikki says. “If a child needs to work when they’re six or seven years old and they’re not getting a childhood, and we feel we can help them, then we will.”
Vikki’s mother passed away when she was nine years old, but she remembers her father was still able to take her and her siblings away on holidays. “We never missed out on anything,” she says. “We were very fortunate in that way.”
Vikki and Chris have seen the positive impact their donations have had on the lives of children and their families. Among the many children they support is Nulu, from Uganda. They visited Nulu, and her family and community, in 2009. The smallest things, says Vikki, can have a big impact on children in places such as Uganda. “We brought koalas and soft soccer balls to Nulu’s school, and you could see the gratitude on the children’s faces. You can’t remove that memory from you mind.”
Today, Nulu is all grown up and runs her own salon. “It’s so worthwhile to know that we’ve played a small part in helping her achieve her dreams,” Vikki says.
“I see our donations as helping children to start on a path to a better future.”
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). DGRs 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).
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 that reduces your taxable income, and provides support to individuals and families living in disadvantaged 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.
5 – 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.
We also have a range of other initiatives that may catch your interest, such as donating to our Children in Conflict 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 30 June, in any amount above $2, are considered tax deductible, and will raise the value of your tax return.
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.