Applying for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status with the ATO
Your entity can apply to be a DGR via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Entities endorsed as deductible gift recipients are entitled to receive donations which are deductible from the donor’s income tax.
There are approximately 50 DGR endorsement categories and eligibility is based on the entity’s purpose or the purpose of a fund, authority or institution it operates.
The ATO website provides information about the eligibility criteria for each of these categories.
Not-for-profits who are seeking guidance on how to apply for deductible gift recipient endorsement, or their status, can call the ATO’s dedicated Not-for-profit phone service on 1300 130 248 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm AEDT. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applying for DGR status under the specific listing process
If your entity does not fit into any of the DGR categories administered by the ATO, it may be able to apply to be specifically listed in legislation.
This option is only available in exceptional circumstances and involves assessment by the Treasurer followed by the government approving an amendment to the tax law.
Your entity must be not-for-profit and its application will be viewed more favourably if your entity is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
To request specific listing by name in the tax law as a DGR, your entity will need to write to the Assistant Minister for Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters, or email Treasury at email@example.com.
Your entity’s application should include the following information (if available):
- circumstances that have led to this request;
- a strong case showing the exceptional circumstances that should be considered, including the broad public benefit your entity provides to the community;
- a copy of the governing document for your entity – links are acceptable if on a website (such as ACNC Charity register);
- a copy of the latest Annual Report for your entity – links are acceptable if on a website;
- a summary of your entity’s activities, such as specific projects recently undertaken and projects planned, as well as those entities or groups who directly benefit from these projects; and
- an estimate of the amount of donations your entity expects to receive per year for the next four years, and the source of those funds (individuals, business and/or ancillary funds) per the table below.
2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25 Individuals Business Ancillary Funds
It generally takes around two years to amend the tax law, depending on the priorities of the Government’s legislation program.
If the Government approves your entity’s request, an announcement will likely be made in the Federal Budget or in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. Your entity will also be notified via letter. However, your entity will not be a DGR until:
- your entity’s governing documents contain appropriate public fund rules; and
- the tax law has been amended to specifically list your entity.
The ATO provides assistance to successful entity’s to meet the public fund requirements.
A DGR specific listing is a not an administrative decision, but a legislative matter that requires an Act of Parliament. Merit review is not available.