ATO says no receipts needed for small donations

The Tax Office announced a practical approach to ensure those donating to help the victims of the Victorian bushfires and Northern Queensland floods can do so with minimum fuss.

Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo said the Tax Office will take the same administrative approach it used for the large number of donations made after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami "People who give to ‘bucket donations' can claim a tax deduction equal to their contribution up to $10 in their 2008-09 tax return without the usual need to keep a receipt.

Many people will use the web or phone to make a donation over $10, so their web receipt or credit card statement will be enough. Others are provided with a receipt for their contributions. This also will apply to donations collected through third parties such as banks and retail outlets.

It's important people donate to an organisation that has been endorsed so they can claim a tax deduction. Most major charities are endorsed, so it's often easier to provide donations to one of the existing and well-established organisations. If you're not sure whether the organisation you're donating to is endorsed the Tax Office lists them as ‘deductible gift recipients' on its website

"In times of natural disaster our first thoughts are for the safety and well-being of those affected. Tax issues should not be something they need to worry about," Mr D'Ascenzo said. "In the next few days, we will release information about how we intend to help people directly affected by natural disasters with any tax issues." Our sympathies go to all these people adversely affected by the recent natural disasters.

Source: ATO