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Guidelines for non-resident charities

Introduction

These guidelines outline Inland Revenue's requirements for non-resident charities to apply for and obtain exemption from income tax. We may approve exemption from income tax for a non-resident charity if they are unable to be registered with Charities Services under the Charities Act 2005.

Charities Services will consider non-resident organisations for registration where the organisations:

  • have a strong connection with New Zealand, and
  • fulfil the required the criteria for registration as a charity.

Non-resident organisations

Under the Income Tax Act 2007, non-resident charities who cannot be registered by Charities Services because they:

  • are not established in New Zealand, or
  • do not have a strong connection with New Zealand

may apply to us to be exempt from income tax as a tax charity. In making an application the non-resident charity must either:

  • produce evidence of having been declined registration by Charities Services, or
  • explain why they consider they won't be able to be registered with Charities Services.

Criteria for exemption

In considering applications from non-resident organisations for exemption as a tax charity that is unable to be registered under the Charities Act, we apply the following criteria:

  • The organisation is not resident in New Zealand.
  • The organisation is recognised as being charitable by one or more overseas charities regulators or tax authorities under any of the following charitable heads:
    • the relief of poverty,
    • the advancement of education,
    • the advancement of religion,
    • any other matter beneficial to the community.
  • The organisation carries out its charitable purposes overseas.
  • The organisation provides a public benefit and does not apply its funds for private pecuniary profit.

We will determine whether a non-resident organisation meets the tests for charitable purpose. Find out more about charitable purpose.

How to apply for an exemption

The non-resident organisation will need to provide us with written evidence that it is recognised as a charity in its home jurisdiction. Examples of acceptable evidence would be:

  • a notice of endorsement for charity tax concessions provided by the organisation's domestic revenue authority, or
  • a letter from the domestic revenue authority confirming that the organisation is resident in that country and that it is exempt from income tax as a charity, or
  • any other evidence of registration as a charity in its home jurisdiction.

Please send completed applications to:

Inland Revenue
PO Box 1147
Palmerston North Central
Palmerston North 4440

Alternatively, applications or queries may be forwarded to us at:
Charities.queries@ird.govt.nz