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Ngā aweretanga tāke mō ngā kaupapa atawhai Tax exemptions for charities

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Income tax and duty exemptions give benefits to charities or to people and companies who make donations to your charity.

Does my charity qualify?

You need to register your charity with Charities Services. Your charity must meet the 2 main conditions:

  • The charity's aim and activities must be exclusively charitable.
  • None of the charity's income or funds may be used, or be available for use, to benefit any of its members, trustees or associates.

What are my charity's responsibilities if we get an exemption?

If your charity is fully exempt from income tax you will not need to file an income tax return unless we ask you to.

If you’re a registered charity, we will generally not send a letter confirming tax-exempt status or donee organisation status.

You can check you’re registered as a charity on the Charities Register (on the Charities Services website).

You can check you’re a donee organisation on our list of approved donee organisations.

Qualifying for other exemptions

Your charity may qualify for another tax exemption. If you think it does, contact us and we can update our records.

You will need to complete an application if you need an exemption from resident withholding tax (RWT).

When charities must pay income tax

Charities must pay income tax if they:

  • operate without written rules, a constitution or trust deed
  • operate under a set of rules, a constitution or a trust deed that does not meet the requirements for an income tax exemption
  • use business income for charitable purposes outside New Zealand
  • are not registered by Charities Services.

Email us

charities.queries
@ird.govt.nz

Charities queries