Guide to claiming a tax credit for donations

Inland Revenue has published the following information, that charities might like to pass on to donors.

How to claim a tax credit for donations

If you’ve made a donation to an approved donee organisation you can claim a tax credit. There are two ways of claiming this tax credit: by filing a Tax credit claim form (IR526) or by using payroll giving (if your employer offers this).

Filing a Tax credit claim form (IR526)

You send this form to Inland Revenue once a year with details of any donations, childcare and/or housekeeper payments you’ve made for the tax year (1 April – 31 March). All receipts for these payments should be provided with the claim form. Donation receipts should have:

  • The person’s name (or their spouse/partner’s name)
  • The amount and date
  • A statement that it’s a donation
  • The signature of an authorised person
  • An official stamp with the name of the donee organisation.

If you don’t have to file an Individual income return (IR3) and you made a tax credit claim last year, you should have already received your claim form. If you didn’t make a claim last year or didn’t receive your claim form, you can print a copy or call Inland Revenue’s 0800 self-service line on 0800 257 773 to order a copy.

If you’re required to file an IR3, Inland Revenue recommend you file your tax credit claim form and IR3 at the same time to avoid delays. This is so they can check the income in your IR3 before sending your refund.

Using payroll giving through your employer

Payroll giving, if it’s offered by your employer, gives you the ability to donate to approved donee organisations directly from your pay. With payroll giving you don’t need to claim your tax credit by filing an IR526 at the end of the year, you get the tax credit immediately each time you make your donation through your pay.

If your employer offers a payroll giving scheme and you’d like to join, you need to:

  • Check the donee organisation you want to donate to is on our approved donee list by going to (keywords: donee organisation)
  • Check your employer supports the donee organisation
  • Give your employer the:
    • Name of the donee organisation
    • Amount of the donation you’re making
    • Pay period, or periods, you’re making the donation for
    • Donee organisation’s bank account or postal address.

Source: IRD Community Wise