Giving the most with your Bushfire Donation

It’s amazing, and emotionally uplifting, to see how generous Australians are when it comes to making donations to help with the bushfire crisis.   It is also a good time to be aware that, for your donation to be tax deductible, it must be made to an organisation that has been given official status by the ATO as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR).  If you are on a high marginal tax rate and know that the donation will give you a year-end tax deduction, that may encourage you to give more.

Most of the major charities are DGRs but sometimes, in times of crisis like this, small groups of people set up local fundraising entities and these might not have registered to be DGRs.  Similarly, many of the donation-seeking funds set up online through websites such as GoFundMe will not necessarily be registered as DGRs.

Some people may not be too concerned about this, and may still choose to support the fundraiser that best suits their ethos, no matter whether it gives them a tax deduction.   Others may be willing to give more if they know they will get a reduction in their year-end tax.

So, How do you check if an organisation is a DGR?

If you don’t want your donation to be disallowed as a tax deduction, it pays to check the DGR status first, before making your donation.   If the organisation has an ABN, you can check their record at the ABN Lookup website –

You can type the name of the organisation (or more simply their ABN if you know it) into the search box and scroll down the the DGR section to see if they are able to receive tax deductible gifts.  You may notice that there are many organisations with very similar names.  Some will be registered as DGRs and some won’t, so make sure you read the fine print and get your donation to the right one.

You can also check out the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission list to see if a charity is properly registered and up to date with its paperwork.

Once you make a donation you will usually receive a receipt from the organisation with details of your donation. You are only allowed a tax deduction if your donation is $2 or more, any donations below this amount are not tax deductible, even when you are making a donation to a DGR.