Donations Through A Trust

Q&A Tax

Question :

Mr. B is looking to make donations to various charities but wishes to remain anonymous.

If he was to transfer money into a trust account, and the donation made from the trust account as an
agent and paid on behalf of him. Would he then be able to claim a donation for this? What materials he
needs to substantiate it?


Answer :

The ATO position on this issue is as follows:

• You need to identify who has actually made the donation. This is the taxpayer who is entitled to
the deduction for the donation; and
• The ATO would start by looking at the name on any receipts that have been issued by the
recipient of the donation to determine who actually made the donation.

This means that you personally must incur the expense or make the payment or contribution.

In this case, if the donation receipt only shows the name of the trust, it would be difficult for Mr. B to
deduct the donation made unless Mr. B has strong written documentation to demonstrate to the ATO
that the trust merely acts as an agent of Mr. B when making the donation of more than $2 to the DGR
and the conditions below are also satisfied:

• the donation is to a deductible gift recipient (DGR)
• the transfer is made voluntarily
• the transfer arises by way of benefaction, and
• no material benefit or advantage is received by the giver by way of return

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