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The payroll giving scheme, where workers can donate direct from their pay, has been a $1.4 million windfall for New Zealand charities in its first year, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has announced.
"In the first 12 months, we’ve seen support for payroll giving grow and it is only going to build further as more people learn more about it," Mr Dunne said.
He said the spirit of giving was really demonstrated in December.
"In that month alone more than 1400 workers donated nearly $200,000 to charities and in return got immediate tax credits back of about $66,000.
Numbers in the scheme vary from month to month, and in November were at over 1700.
"This scheme is a win-win for all concerned, and after I pushed for it for years, it is really gratifying to see it taking off now," he said.
Under payroll giving, people donate automatically from their pay to their chosen charity from a list of donee organisations approved by Inland Revenue. The employee then gets their tax credit each payday instead of having to wait until the end of the tax year to make a claim.
"The charities reap the benefit, employers are helping make a difference in their communities by enabling their workers to participate in the scheme, and people can donate simply and without fuss and receive their tax credit straight away," Mr Dunne said.
"It is incredibly easy for the worker and very low cost and effective for the charities."
Payroll giving is available to all employers who file their Employer Monthly Schedules to Inland Revenue electronically and is completely voluntary.
These schedules provide Inland Revenue with details of employees’ gross earnings, PAYE payments and other deductions.
Further information on payroll giving and the donations made since it was introduced can be found at: http://www.ird.govt.nz/news-updates/like-to-know-payroll-giving-updates.html
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