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Why can’t donations to my local public school be tax deductible?

by Seb Chan on August 20th, 2010

The other day I received in my mailbox a letter from my old high school. They were raising money and, being a private school, promised me full tax deductibility for my donation.

Now, like many parents, I’d love to be able to support my local public school in this way. In fact the public schools need this sort of support.

So, can my donations to the P&C be tax-deductible? Apparently not.

According to the NSW Federation of P&C (whose hands are tied) –

Tax Deductibility – Contributions to P&C

Federation has been advised that:

“The allowance of deductions for gifts is governed by the provisions of Section 78 (1) (a) of the Income Tax Assessment Act. Under these provisions deductions may be allowed only for gifts to funds and institutions in Australia of the particular classes specified in the section. The main classes of funds and institutions so specified include public and private hospitals, public benevolent institutions, public funds for the relief of persons in necessitous circumstances, public funds to finance the acquisition, construction and maintenance of school buildings, public libraries, public museums and art galleries.”

As the P&C Association does not fall within any of these classes of funds and institutions mentioned in the section, gifts to school parent bodies do not qualify as allowable deductions. Neither registration as a charity nor authority to fundraise confers the right to offer tax deductions on cash donations unless such donations are made to Australian Taxation Office approved building or library funds. (emphasis mine)

You’d think that in times where public education funding is being stripped back and is tighter than ever, and technological, pedagogical, let alone curriculum changes are coming ever faster, that this might provide a more equal footing with the fundraising opportunities available to private education?

So, has any community in Australia set up a charitable foundation for their local public school to get around this?

Suggestions?

From → Ideas, Politics

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