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Charitable organisations Ngā rōpū kaupapa atawhai

Charitable organisations and the student loan scheme

If you're an approved charitable organisation, and a student loan borrower is, or will be, working overseas for you as a volunteer (or for token payment), they can apply to us to be treated as being physically in New Zealand to keep their entitlement to an interest-free student loan.

Note

Entitlement to an interest-free loan for the student loan borrower only applies when the work they undertake is to:

  • relieve poverty, hunger, sickness, the ravages of war or natural disaster, or
  • improve the economy or raise educational standards

in a country that is on the OECD list of countries receiving development assistance.

We can grant this for volunteer work for a maximum aggregate period of 24 months.

If you're a borrower find out what information you need to remain interest-free when you're working overseas.

Approved charitable organisations

Approved charitable organisations are listed on our website.

If you wish to become an approved charitable organisation you must:

  • have been established for charitable purposes
  • be undertaking charitable activities.

How you can apply

Write to us outlining the reasons why you should become an approved charitable organisation. Include a copy of your trust deed (or other founding document).

You can write to us at:

Charities Team
Inland Revenue
PO Box 1147
Palmerston North 4440
New Zealand

You can also email us at Charities.Queries@ird.govt.nz.

We'll contact you if we need any more information.

How we assess your application

When we assess your application consideration is given to the following:

  • are you registered as a charity with the Department of Internal Affairs - Charitable Services
  • are you a non-resident "tax charity" with an income tax exemption approved by us
  • the work your organisation does
  • the work the volunteers will do for your organisation

If you're not a registered charity within New Zealand we'll need more information to consider your request. To be listed as a charity for the purposes of the student loan scheme, this could include:

  • your standing and credibility as a charitable organisation
  • if you're recognised as a charitable organisation with an overseas tax authority of Government charity regulator (you'll need to provide copies of relevant documentation)
  • if you're publicly accountable
  • the monitoring and evaluation processes you have in place
  • what your accounting and record keeping practices are
  • the terms of your trust deed, constitution or other governing rules
  • other matters that we consider relevant.