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Charities & Not-For-Profits Law in Australia

Tax deductibility for school donations

Posted in Tax Exemptions & DGR Status

Federal Parliament has recently passed legislation that allows tax deductibility for donations to a new education charity called Australian Schools Plus.

For the first time, this will allow donors to receive a DGR receipt for donations for general educational purposes to particular schools.

What are the Opportunities for Deductible Gift Donations for Schooling?

Up until this point, donors were only able to obtain tax deductions for donations to endorsed school building funds, school libraries and scholarship funds. Whilst these provided some avenues for donations, there was not previously the opportunity to obtain a tax deduction for donations for general schooling purposes.

With the naming of Australian Schools Plus as a deductible gift recipient in the tax laws, there is now the opportunity for donors to make tax deductible donations for schools that may be considered by the board of Australian Schools Plus to be disadvantaged.

What Opportunity Does this Present for Schools? 

Schools seeking funding for a project can apply as a potential recipient by application to Australian Schools Plus through its website.

Australian Schools Plus aims to support projects that have the greatest impact on student success. These are likely to include projects that increase student engagement and their readiness to learn, improving teacher effectiveness or increasing the involvement of parents in the school community.

The charity is designed to help schools that are likely to benefit most from additional resources. Its criteria are based around the school’s ICSEA value, with a current focus on schools with an ICSEA value below 1,000.

(ICSEA stands for the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage and was developed for the My School website. It takes into account factors such as parents’ occupation and education level, socio-economic characteristics of an area and the proportion of students from non-English speaking or indigenous background.)

What Opportunities Does this Present for Donors?

Donors who want to support a project at their own child’s school and those who are passionate about a strong education system will be attracted to donating through Australian Schools Plus.

Although donors can nominate a particular school or project as their preferred beneficiary, donations to Australian Schools Plus must be voluntary and unconditional. Australian Schools Plus says that where possible discretionary grants will be made taking into account the donor’s wishes.

We applaud this initiative to allow tax deductions for donations to Australia’s most disadvantaged schools. More information can be obtained from the Australian Schools Plus website.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact Bill d’Apice or Anna Lewis.