Applying for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status
Entities endorsed as deductible gift recipients are entitled to receive donations which are deductible from the donor’s income tax.
There are around 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.
There are two ways to apply for DGR endorsement with the ATO:
- If you are currently applying for registration with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), you can apply to the ATO for DGR endorsement on the ACNC registration application form.
- If you already have an ABN, and you are either registered as a charity or are not required to be for DGR endorsement, you need to lodge a separate application form.
Not-for-profits can seek guidance on DGR categories and how to apply for deductible gift recipient endorsement by contacting the ATO Not-for-profit advice service on 1300 130 248 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm AEDT. Entities can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applying for DGR status under the specific listing process
Before applying for specific listing, entities should contact the ATO to establish if they are eligible under a general category. If your entity does not fit into any of the DGR categories administered by the ATO, it may apply to be specifically listed in legislation.
Specific listing is only available in exceptional circumstances and involves assessment by the Treasurer, followed by the government approving an amendment to the tax law. Of around 28,000 entities with DGR status, only around 200 are specifically listed. Applicants must meet a high bar to merit listing by name in 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). Entities can seek ACNC registration.
To request specific listing by name in the tax law as a DGR, your entity will need to write to the Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer, or email Treasury at email@example.com.
Your entity’s application should include the following information:
- 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;
- the ABN of the entity which is seeking specific listing;
- if you are not a registered charity, provide an explanation of why you are unable to register as a charity;
- a copy of your Certificate of Registration;
- an estimate of the amount of donations your entity expects to receive per year for the next five years, should your application be successful, and the source of those funds (individuals, business and/or ancillary funds) per the table below.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4||Year 5|
It generally takes around two years to process an application and amend the tax law, depending on the priorities of the Government’s legislation program. An overview of the steps involved is at Figure 1 below.
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 entities 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.