• GST and Donation issues for Charities

    | Categories: Charity , GST , New Zealand

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    We have a number of Charity clients who are GST registered. The number one issue we have to deal with for these clients is sorting out what income streams should be subject to GST. Just because you are a Charity doesn’t mean that all your income is exempt from GST.
    This has become relevant recently as the IRD has begun challenging a number of scenarios in this space. In particular, the IRD has published a Revenue Alert looking at private schools and kindergartens that required parents to make a “gift” to the school or related foundation. The school, therefore, didn’t charge GST on the “fees” and the parents claimed a tax credit on the “gift.” The IRD is investigating and reversing lots of these, and tax fraud charges are likely to those who promoted the arrangement! I tell my clients that they should treat all receipts as GSTable UNLESS they can prove that it is not. There is an alarming trend among charities (and this includes Churches, where honest and ethics are supposed to be virtues) to reliable a receipt as a “donation” and therefore grant a tax credit to the “donor” and avoid having to pay GST by the Charity (forgive my rant, but which part of claiming the input tax credit for the organization and then failing to pay the output tax credit is ethical?).

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  • Charity Begins at Home

    | Categories: Charity , GST , New Zealand , Taxation

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    Rules around tax breaks for charitable donations have undergone a lot of change in recent years. With the introduction of the Charities Act and the removal of the restrictions on deductions/credits for charitable giving the landscape is now quite different than it was a few years ago. Individuals and businesses can now claim a credit (individuals) or deduction (companies) for donations made to eligible organizations. The first thing to check is whether your intended recipient is actually eligible. They need to be recorded as a Donee Organisation by the IRD. You can find a list of these on the IRD website (http://www.ird.govt.nz/donee-organisations/donee-organisations-index.html). Being registered with the Charities Office is not necessarily the same (although in practical terms almost every registered charity is also a donee organization, there are some exceptions). You can only claim credits/deductions if you have a proper charitable receipt from a donee organization.

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