Suggest a resource
Kiwis need to engage on tax rebate changes
New Zealanders' generosity may get an extra boost with a Government proposal to change the way giving is taxed in this country.
The proposed changes to the tax rebate regime for charities announced by Inland Revenue Minister Peter Dunne today are aimed at encouraging philanthropic giving and Tangata Whenua and community and voluntary organisations are urging New Zealanders to participate in the debate.
A discussion document called Tax incentives for giving to charities and other non-profit organisations has been released by the Inland Revenue Department, with submissions being sought on the proposed changes by 28 November 2006.
"This is an issue that affects all New Zealanders — whether they are 'givers', are active as volunteers, or are users of the many services and not-for-profit organisations that rely so heavily on philanthropy to make ends meet," says Andrea Goble, chief executive of Social Services Waikato.
Philanthropy New Zealand Executive Director Robyn Scott says overseas experience shows that people give more when giving is made easy and they have a range of incentives to give.
"The Government has presented a range of credible options for encouraging generosity and we congratulate United Future leader Peter Dunne, in his capacity as Revenue Minister, for his tenacity in driving this issue through in this Parliamentary term," Ms Scott says.
Dave Henderson, National Coordinator of the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of Aotearoa (ANGOA) says the sector is delighted that the Government is making the issue of giving and generosity a priority after almost a decade of the Sector trying to get this on to the work programme.
"Tangata Whenua and the community and voluntary sector rely heavily on multiple funding streams, including donations and philanthropic giving, to maintain the huge range of community services, from care for the elderly, to ambulances, and sport and recreation activities," Mr Henderson says.
Presbyterian Support Services New Zealand National Executive Officer Jo Lake says New Zealand is trailing other comparative Commonwealth countries in promoting "a culture of giving" to the detriment of everyone.
"This is an issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Many charities already find it difficult to fund their full range of services and tax relief is an important part of ensuring many groups are able to fund their activities in a more sustainable way," says Dr Lake.
New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations Executive Director Tina Reid says the proposed changes put forward by the Government also provides options for addressing taxation issues around volunteers, Maori authorities and corporate donors.
"We are encouraging all groups who will be affected by these proposed changes to read and respond to the discussion document," she says.
The Inland Revenue Department will also be running a series of consultation workshops in main centres around the country on the proposed changes (see attached schedule).
Information about taxation issues for charities is also available at the following links:
Philanthropy New Zealand, ANGOA, Presbyterian Support Services New Zealand, Social Services Waikato, and the New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations are members of COMVOICES, an independent coalition of Tangata Whenua and leading community and voluntary organisations that has been set up to promote the voluntary sector and the contribution it makes to New Zealand society.
For more information, please contact:
The Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari
www.community.net.nz as a community service.
New Zealand Government Online: