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Income tax exemptions and donee status give benefits to charities or to people, companies or Māori authorities who make donations to your charity.

Getting an income tax exemption

To become a 'tax charity' and qualify for the charitable income tax exemption, an organisation generally needs to be a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005. Charities are registered by Charities Services at the Department of Internal Affairs, and they tell us when a charity is registered.

Tax information on the Charities Services website

Exemption for non-resident charities

A non-resident charity may not be able to register with Charities Services if the charity does not have a strong enough connection to New Zealand.

But your charity can still apply to us for an income tax exemption.

An exemption means your charity will not pay New Zealand income tax or non-resident withholding tax on non-business income earned in New Zealand.

Requirements for an exemption

We can approve your organisation as a tax charity if it:

  • is not resident in New Zealand
  • carries out charitable purposes overseas
  • does not use its funds for private profit
  • is recognised as being charitable by one or more overseas charities regulators or tax authorities.

You must meet all these requirements.

You must also be able to provide proof that Charities Services declined your charity’s registration because it did not have a strong connection to New Zealand, or explain why you believe you will not be able to register with Charities Services.

Last updated: 15 Nov 2022
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