Here are some reminders about GST and registering for income tax when you run a charity or not-for proft. If you are registering your organisation to become a charity, we can help you with the process.
Registering for GST
To be eligible to register for GST, your charity must carry on a taxable activity. This applies even if your charity is tax exempt. Receiving donations and (in most cases) grants does not count as a taxable activity and so does not count as supply for GST.
When you register for GST, help us process your application faster by providing as much information as you can about your charity’s taxable activities. Find more information on our website or in our guide IR255.
Changes to the Goods and Services Tax Act mean keeping GST records is easier. All changes were in effect from 1 April 2023. See more information on our website.
Should your charity file an income tax return?
Your organisation is a legal entity from its start date. You need to file an income tax return for your organisation up until the day before it becomes a registered charity, and the tax exemption applies.
Once registered, you do not have to file an income tax return unless your charity has business income that is used overseas. Contact us if your organisation has received an income tax return or a reminder to file, and you think you are not required to file or are unsure. We may need to update our records.
IRD numbers and changing your legal structure
No matter what type of organisation you are running, you will need an IRD number. Even when an organisation is exempt from income tax, an IRD number may be needed for GST, employer taxes (such as PAYE or FBT), resident withholding tax (RWT) or the donee organisation list. Generally speaking, a separate IRD number is needed for each legal entity or trust.
You can find more information about how to apply for an IRD number on our website.
If your organisation wants to change its legal structure and that results in a new legal entity or trust, for example transferring from an incorporated society to a trust, please contact us at the email address below.
- help you apply for an IRD number for the new entity or trust (if not already done)
- arrange its income tax and RWT exempt status
- update the donee organisation list
- transfer registered GST or employer taxes.
For any feedback or to contact Inland Revenue please send us a message through your myIR account or email us.