Tax information

Inland Revenue administers charitable tax exemptions from things such as income tax and gift duty for people who give gifts to charitable entities. Inland Revenue generally accepts Charities Services’ decisions regarding charitable registrations, so in most cases tax exemptions are approved.

Guidance can be found on the Non-Profits(external link) section on the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) website or in the IR255 Guide(external link) – Charities and Donee organisations.

When a charity is registered as a charitable entity, we advise Inland Revenue. We also advise them of organisations who have been deregistered for any reason. 

A registered charity need only contact Inland Revenue directly if there is a possibility that a tax return needs to be filed (if it is thought that there is taxable income), or for other tax matters such as GST, PAYE or changes to records. 

Donee status

Organisations do not need to be registered with Charities Services in order to apply for donee status from Inland Revenue. 

With an organisation having approved donee status from Inland Revenue, individuals can claim a tax rebate for a donation that they make to that organisation. In addition, companies and Māori authorities can claim a deduction for donations made to an organisation with donee status. 

Registered charities receiving donations/koha generally receive donee status from Inland Revenue.

As part of the application process to become a registered charity, organisations are asked if they intend to receive funds from donation/koha. If charitable status is approved, your details will then be supplied to Inland Revenue and donee status is usually granted.   

Note: If you spend money delivering your charitable purpose overseas (providing disaster relief, delivering aid and so on) Inland Revenue will assess your eligibility for donee status differently. Refer to Inland Revenue's website(external link) for more details about overseas donee status.

What information do charities need to put on a receipt for a donor?

Donation receipts need to show:

  • donor’s full name
  • the amount they donated
  • the date they donated
  • a clear statement that it was a donation
  • your organisation’s name, Charities Services registration number and IRD number
  • your official stamp or logo or letterhead
  • The full name, designation, and signature of an authorised person from your organisation
  • A receipt number, unique to each receipt

Getting a replacement receipt

If a donor needs a replacement receipt, the same information needs to be on it as on the original receipt. The word "Copy" or "Replacement" should be clearly visible on the receipt.

If a donee organisation issues a receipt that has later been refunded, they must advise the donor to destroy the receipt. If the donor has already made the claim for the donation, the donor must advise Inland Revenue, as their tax credit (formerly called a "rebate") will need to be adjusted.

While it is not a requirement to put your charities registration number on receipts, Charities Services encourages you to use this number on all promotional material.