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Australian taxpayers giving more

2 min read

The latest annual Tax Deductible Giving Report from the CPNS at Queensland University of Technology shows that the total amount donated and claimed as tax-deductible contributions in the 2006-07 year was $1.89 billion – a 21.1 per cent increase from the previous year and a figure that has risen substantially over the past several years.

For the first time, the study matched taxpayers’ occupations with their deductible giving amounts. The highest average gift deductions – $1,938 – were claimed by the category comprising coroners, judges, magistrates, local councillors, members of parliament, and state governors. This average was followed by $1,916 from mining and petroleum engineers, $1,884 from managing directors, and $1,681 from medical specialists.

Moreover, according to the results, religious practitioners claimed the highest deductible gift to taxable income ratio at 1.9 per cent, followed by performing artists at 1.14 per cent.

Some of the report’s other key findings for the 2006-07 year showed:

  • The average tax-deductible donation made to DGRs and claimed by taxpayers was $440.01 – compared with $370.83 the year before. This average has nearly tripled in the last decade.
  • Such donations and claims were made by 4.28 million taxpayers, representing 36.3 per cent of the Australian taxpaying population. This figure is slightly lower than the 36.45 per cent shown in the previous year.
  • On average, individual taxpayers gave approximately 0.38 per cent as tax-deductible donations to DGRs. The CPNS said that “this trend has been increasing slightly over the past eleven years and is at its highest level since 1992-93.”
  • Taxpayers from New South Wales made and claimed the largest average donation at $569.19. The Darling Point and Point Piper postcodes were the most generous, with total yearly gifts averaging $25,037 per taxpayer.

The study collects and analyses statistics – mainly based on data from the ATO – on the amount and extent of tax-deductible donations made and claimed by Australians in their individual income tax returns to deductible gift recipients (DGRs).

The CPNS says that its study excludes many types of charitable contributions that are not generally deductible as ‘gifts’, such as donations from corporate taxpayers or volunteering, and that the Giving Australia Report used a much broader definition of gift to estimate a total of giving of $11 billion for 2005, which excluded Tsunami disaster relief donations of $300 million.

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