A Guide to Understanding Tax Deductions for Donations to Charity

Important Disclaimer: The content on this page should not be interpreted as financial advice. If you require guidance regarding tax deductions, we strongly recommend seeking independent financial advice from a professional. You can do so by reaching out to your tax agent or contacting the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

One remarkable way to make a positive change in your community is by supporting organisations like Assistance Dogs Australia.

What’s even more heartening is that your generosity can also benefit you in the form of tax deductions.

Let us explain how tax deductions work and how they benefit you.

Understanding Assistance Dogs Australia

Assistance Dogs Australia trains and places certified Assistance Dogs for people living with physical disability, autism, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Assistance Dogs are more than companions; they are lifelines, providing more support, independence, and an enhanced sense of freedom for people living with disability.


The Power of Your Donation

When you contribute to Assistance Dogs Australia, you’re not just giving money; you’re investing in a brighter future for someone who is navigating through life with a disability.

Your donation directly funds the world-class care and training of future Assistance Dogs, making a tangible impact and changing lives of real people around the country.

The Tax-Deductible Advantage

This is how your generosity can benefit you too.

In Australia, donations made to registered charities — like Assistance Dogs Australia — are generally tax-deductible. This means that a portion of your donation to Assistance Dogs Australia can be subtracted from your taxable income, potentially lowering the amount of tax you need to pay when you file your tax return.


What is not considered a donation?

Any donations over $2 are eligible for tax deductions that can be subtracted from your annual taxable income. These donations must be made to a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR), which is an officially recognised and registered charity according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

To qualify, donations must be authentic and provide no tangible benefits to the donor. For instance, automatic monthly donations to a charity are eligible for tax deductions, whereas the purchase of raffle tickets is not. You also cannot claim charity merchandise or a gala event ticket as a donation.

If you’re uncertain about whether your chosen charity qualifies as a DGR and can receive tax-deductible gifts, use the Australian Business Register’s ABN (Australian Business Number) Lookup tool to find a comprehensive list of all DGR charities.

Tax deductible donations include:

● One-off donations
● Automatic donations (eg monthly)
● Donations to emergency appeals
● Corporate sponsorships
● Gifts such as money, property, or shares.

Why does the government allow tax-deductible donations?

The Australian Government acknowledges the significant work that charities do. In an effort to encourage generosity towards charities, the ATO offers an extra personal incentive — the ability to deduct donations from the donor’s personal taxable income, thereby reducing tax paid.

Can I reduce my taxable income to zero through charitable donations?

There isn’t a strict ceiling on general tax claims relating to charitable donations. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that gifts and donations cannot result in a tax loss.

Therefore, if you make a substantial donation in one financial year, you can elect to use it to reduce your taxable income across up to five financial years. To do this, you must complete an election form in the first year prior to lodging your income tax return. For more information, click here.

Does Assistance Dogs Australia have DGR (Deductible Gift Recipient) status?

Yes, Assistance Dogs Australia has DGR status and donations to Assistance Dogs Australia are tax-deductible.

Assistance Dogs Australia is registered and verified by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). Click here to view our profile at the ACNC website.

Assistance Dogs Australia’s ABN is 90074746160 and is a registered charity.


Making a Tax-Deductible Donation-for-dog-charity

Steps for Making a Tax-Deductible Donation

1. Ensure your chosen charity is registered: You can only claim a tax deduction for gifts or donations to organisations like Assistance Dogs Australia that have DGR status. 

2. Donate: To claim a deduction, you must be the person that gives the gift or donation, and it must meet the following 4 conditions: it must be to a DGR, it must truly be a gift or donation, it must be of money, property or financial assets, and it must comply with any relevant gift conditions. 

You can donate online to Assistance Dogs Australia through our secure online portal here.

The more you donate, the more you can reduce your taxable income.

3. Keep Records: Wait for your receipt to arrive via email (if you donated online to our charity) or via post (if you donated using a physical form and mailed it to Assistance Dogs Australia). Hold onto your donation receipts. These serve as proof of your contribution and are vital when it comes time to claim your deduction. However, you can claim up to $10 of donations without needing to show a receipt.

Make sure you gather other important information you will need when you file your tax return, like your tax file number, PAYG payment summary and other receipts.

4. Claiming the Deduction: When tax season rolls around, lodge your tax return in one of three ways: online, with a paper tax return, or with a friendly tax agent.

Pay special attention to a section called “D9 Gifts or donations of the return” – this is the section where you tell the ATO the amount you donated.


If supporters like you donate towards Assistance Dogs, not only will you help puppies to become Assistance Dogs, you’ll also be doing yourselves a big favour by reducing the amount of tax you pay. That can result in money back when you file your tax return. 


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