Australians Can Now Donate Directly to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal
Australians will be able to make tax deductible donations directly to the New Zealand Government's Christchurch Earthquake Appeal after the Government agreed today to list the Appeal by name in the tax laws as a deductible gift recipient (DGR).
Listing the Appeal as a DGR means that Australians who donate $2 or more to the Appeal are eligible to receive a tax deduction for their donation. Previously, Australians could donate to Australian-based charities raising funds for the Earthquake Appeal, but not directly to the New Zealand-based Appeal.
In announcing the listing today, the Assistant Treasurer, Bill Shorten, said "Australians have watched in horror at the events in Christchurch and we stand steadfast in our commitment to support our closest neighbours in their hour of need."
"Providing the Appeal with tax deductible status will encourage Australians to directly donate generously to the Appeal."
Donations received by the Appeal will be used to help the communities, families and people of Christchurch and the Canterbury region.
"Our thoughts are with the people of Christchurch and New Zealand at this time of national mourning. We hope that the contributions of Australians will help to rebuild lives and communities currently in distress and disrepair as a result of this tragedy," Mr Shorten said.
The earthquake has claimed 166 lives, including Australian lives, with that figure expected to rise to above 200, and at present over 10,000 homes face demolition.
Donations to the Appeal are tax deductible for a period of two years from today. Taxpayers should ensure that they retain a receipt for their donation.
The Government will introduce legislation as soon as practical to give effect to this decision.
22 March 2011