Things to consider before donating to the bushfire appeal

Written by The ReReport
As seen in the Source link, written by on 2020-01-12 11:23:52

MANY Australians dig deep in times of crisis and the latest bushfire disaster has again proved we’re a generous bunch.

Celebrities are among those who have dipped into their pockets. Chris Hemsworth, Kylie and Dannii Minogue, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and Russell Crowe are giving plenty, as have sports stars Nick Kyrgios, Ash Barty and Shane Warne who auctioned off his baggy green cap.

Others have kickstarted their own fundraising missions including comedians Celeste Barber and performer Magda Szubanski.

If you’ve tipped money into a relevant charity or are planning on doing so, Mr Taxman principal Dr Adrian Raftery said it was important to make sure donations were made to a deductible gift recipient (DGR) if you wanted to claim the donation come tax time.

“It needs to be a registered charity that accepts tax-deductible donations and ideally for tax time you have a copy of your receipt of where you made the donation to,” he said.

“But some people don’t care about the tax deduction and they don’t claim it.”

If throwing cash in a bucket collection for a DGR, donors can claim a deduction for gifts up to $10 without a receipt, and for any amount greater there needs to be a receipt if they want to use it as a tax deduction.

media_cameraVolunteers sort donation boxes ready to be loaded onto a truck at Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club who have been inundated with donations after setting up as a bushfire relief centre. Picture: John Appleyard

Dr Raftery said always keeping a receipt filed away was important so it could be “claimed at the end of the financial year”.

Dr Raftery said always keeping a receipt filed away was important so it could be “claimed at the end of the financial year”.

Handing money to crowd-funding platforms such as GoFundMe is not tax deductible, and the ATO says donating purchased goods such as groceries can be deductible if you get a receipt from the charity to prove the donation.

Despite many people doing the right thing during times of crisis, scammers will use them as an opportunity to steal from honest donors.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s chairman, Rod Sims, urged people to go directly to charities they were familiar with before handing over money.

“Rather than reacting to a phone call or text or someone approaching you on the web who you don’t know, it’s best you find their actual website and donate directly,” he said.

Mr Sims said people should check a charity was legitimate by searching the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Charity Register before donating.

If you do get targeted by a scammer, report it to 1300 795 995.


Originally published as What to consider before donating to the bushfire appeal