Media Releases → 2020

MEDIA RELEASE

South Australian bushfires declared disasters for the purpose of tax-deductible donations to bushfire relief funds

Senator The Hon. Zed Seselja
Assistant Minister for Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters

Date: Tuesday, 14 January 2020

I have declared the Cudlee Creek, Kangaroo Island, Angle Vale, Keilira, Yorketown and Duck Pond bushfires in South Australia as disasters for the purpose of establishing Australian disaster relief funds as deductible gift recipients (DGRs), allowing these funds to receive tax-deductible donations.

The Keilira fire began on 30 December 2019 and has caused widespread damage to property and the natural environment in the local government area of Kingston.

The Cudlee Creek, Kangaroo Island and Angle Vale fires began on 20 December 2019 and have caused loss of life and widespread damage to property and the natural environment in the local government areas of Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island, Mount Barker, Mid Murray, Rural City of Murray Bridge and City of Playford.

The Yorketown fire began on 20 November 2019 and has caused widespread damage to property and the natural environment in the local government area of Yorke Peninsula.

The Duck Pond fire began on 11 November 2019 and has caused widespread damage to property and the natural environment in the local government area of Lower Eyre Peninsula.

The Australian community has already shown its generosity to those affected by bushfires. This declaration will allow funds that are established for the relief of people affected by the South Australian fires in the specified locations to receive tax-deductible donations.

Donations to Australian disaster relief funds, established to provide relief in the aftermath of the bushfires, will be tax deductible when made within two years of the day specified in this declaration as the first day of the event. Meaning, funds established for the Kangaroo Island fire for example, can accept tax deductible donations for two years from 20 December 2019, as the stated in this declaration as the first day of the Kangaroo Island fires.

Disaster relief funds will need to apply for formal endorsement as DGRs. The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are available to assist funds in this process. Organisations seeking to establish a DGR are encouraged to phone the ATO’s Not-for-Profit advice line on 1300 130 248 between 8:00am and 6:00pm AEDT, Monday to Friday. You can email atoendorsements@ato.gov.au outside of these times.

The ATO are working to process applications relating to the current bushfires and recovery efforts as a matter of priority.

Disaster relief funds established to assist those affected by fires in New South Wales and Victoria in recent weeks are also eligible to seek DGR status as state premiers have made declarations of emergency in relation to those fires.

There are also many existing organisations able to receive tax-deductible donations doing great work helping our bushfire affected communities. A list of those organisations can be found at https://www.pmc.gov.au/registered-bushfire-charities.

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