More Australians are claiming donations as tax deductions

Alison Banney 17 October 2017

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Australians claimed over $3 billion as gifts to charity in the 2014-15 financial year.

New research shows more Australians are claiming charity gifts as tax deductions, with $3.1 billion dollars claimed in the 2014-15 financial year alone. This is a staggering $464 million increase on the previous financial year.

The findings come from an annual report produced by QUT's Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS), which analysed ATO statistics on tax-deductible gifts. The report shows that the increase in Australians claiming tax-deductible gifts far exceeds inflation and describes the increase as "a great leap forward".

In the 2014-15 financial year, 4.57 million Australians claimed tax-deductible gifts. The average donation amount claimed was $674.14.

ACPNS professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes said that Australia's wealthiest are doing their fair share of donations, saying “...just over a half of taxpayers in the $180,000-plus income bracket claimed a donation." McGregor-Lowndes said more than 200,000 taxpayers earning in the top tax bracket over $180,000 had contributed nearly $1.18 billion.

Generally, the report revealed that the more people earn, the more they claim donations as a tax-deduction overall. It also showed that women gave a higher percentage of their income than men towards donations; however, men donated more overall.

While this is certainly a positive for charities, for the charities' sake, let's just hope that all those claims were legitimate and Australians aren't simply claiming these donations in an attempt to increase their tax return. If you're unsure of what you can and can't claim as a tax deduction this year, check out our ultimate guide to tax deductions for some hints.

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