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Tax Time and Charitable Donations

It's that time of year when our accountants ask for any expenses and receipts that we can claim against our tax. A few people have contacted me about what charity donations and expenses they can claim. There is a simple consideration of what receipts you can claim as a tax-free donation against your personal tax.

Firstly, and most importantly - did you receive anything for your donation or expense?

We often think that the money we spend attending charity events is a donation - it is not. Tickets to charity events are not a donation, they usually cover the cost of the event itself and as an attendee you receive something for that ticket - your lunch, entertainment etc for the money you spend, the event costs are covered by your ticket price and it is only what is left that goes to the charity.

Money spent on raffle tickets is also not a donation - you receive something for that money, a chance to win a prize. The same with auction items you win.

If you donate cash or property to a charity that has correct charity and DGR (donated gift recipient) status, without receiving anything in return, it is a legitimate donation and with a receipt you can claim that as a donation at tax time.

We all attend gala charity events at times, not realising that most of ticket price we pay does not go to the charity. The beauty of My Giving Table is that most of the ticket price does actually go as a donation directly to the chosen charity. It's in our set up and at the core of the social enterprise we have created. It's all about maximizing the amount that flows to the charities we work with, by reducing the costs of holding these events. We do this in several ways which may need to be outlined in a future blog.

Back to the tax - when you attend a My Giving Table event you are paying a ticket price to attend a fundraising event and receive a meal. As a guest, you therefore cannot claim your ticket price as a tax-free donation.

Interestingly, the host does have an opportunity to claim the money, raised through the event, against their tax. Let me explain.

The host donates the food and venue for the event without recompense, avoiding most of the expenses that are usually incurred when holding a charity event. This is the main way we maximise the fundraising potential of these simple events. The monies raised from an MGT event is then donated to the charity, in the name of the host. The host can therefore receive a tax donation receipt, directly from the charity, for the donated amount and lodge it with their tax paperwork.

By attending a My Giving Table event as a guest you can be happy that the charity is being powerfully and positively impacted by your attendance. As a host you also have the benefit of turning a small amount of cost, time and effort into a generous donation and helping to support those in need in our community. For example, a dinner party in your home with 8 or 10 friends paying $100 or $120 to attend can raise $1000 for the charity directly and easily, which you can then claim back as an tax-free donation.

One of the things I love about tax free donations is that we get to choose where those funds go, we normally pay our taxes and the government chooses how it is spent. By donating to legitimate and bona fide charities, that are supporting initiatives that we personally care about, we get the choice ourselves where some of our tax goes. There are so many charities who support incredible and legitimate services in our community and they do need our support to continue the good works they do.

In 2023 should you consider being a host of your own My Giving Table event? Turn your next dinner party into a wonderful event for friends and loved ones and make it extra special by donating the proceeds to those in need in our community. Oh and at tax time you have a legitimate donation you can claim.

Thats what I call a win win win.

Contact me if you would like to discuss how we can bring your next event to life and support your favourite cause.

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