Organisations that are endorsed as deductible gift recipients (DGRs) are entitled to receive donations that are deductible from the donor's income tax. This means when a donor makes a gift or contribution to a DGR endorsed charity, they may be able to claim a tax deduction. The amount of the claim will depend on the type of gift or contribution they make.
The ACNC is responsible for registering organisations as charities, and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is responsible for endorsing organisations as DGRs.
It is important to remember that not all charities are eligible for DGR endorsement.
Eligibility for DGR endorsement
For your charity to be endorsed as a DGR, it must meet the specific criteria of the DGR category it is applying for. Information about the different DGR categories and the specific requirements for each is available on the ATO website.
Your charity can either be endorsed as a whole, or a fund, authority or institution it operates can be endorsed. If your charity’s fund is endorsed as a DGR, only donations to that fund can be deductible.
In exceptional cases, an organisation may have DGR status through a specific listing by name in tax law. Federal Treasury is responsible for overseeing applications involving a specific listing for DGR endorsement.
It is a requirement for organisations to be registered as a charity with the ACNC to be eligible for DGR endorsement, unless the organisation is:
- a government organisation
- an ancillary fund, or
- specifically listed in tax law.
For more information, see the ATO’s guidance on DGRs required to be registered charities.
For an indication of your charity’s eligibility for DGR endorsement, you can use Not-for-profit Law’s DGR tool.
DGR categories requiring pre-approval by another government department
Certain DGR categories require pre-approval by another government department as part of the eligibility criteria. These categories are listed below.
For DGR endorsement in one of these categories, you will need to apply to the relevant department after we register your organisation as a charity.
|DGR category||Relevant department and register or scheme|
|4.1.4: Public fund on the register of harm prevention charities||Department of Social Services: Register of Harm Prevention Charities|
|6.1.1: Public fund on the register of environmental organisations||Department of the Environment: Register of Environmental Organisations|
|9.1.1: Overseas aid fund||Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Overseas Aid Gift Deduction Scheme|
|12.1.1: Public fund on the register of cultural organisations||Department of Communications and the Arts: Register of Cultural Organisations|
From 1 January 2024, the administrative responsibility of these four DGR categories will be transferred from the government departments listed above to the ATO. For more information, see the ATO's guidance on deductible gift recipient reforms.
How to apply to for DGR endorsement
The process for applying for DGR endorsement depends on whether your organisation is already registered as a charity with the ACNC.
To check if your organisation is registered as a charity, you can search the name or Australian Business Number (ABN) on the ACNC Charity Register.
If you aren't sure whether your charity is already DGR-endorsed, you can search ABN Lookup to see your charity tax concessions and DGR status.
If your charity is already registered with the ACNC
If your organisation is already registered as a charity with the ACNC, but you want to apply for DGR endorsement, you need to apply directly to the ATO using the ATO’s DGR application form.
If your organisation is not yet registered as a charity with the ACNC
If your organisation is not a charity, you can apply for both charity registration and DGR endorsement in the ACNC charity registration application.
The ATO is still responsible for DGR endorsement, but you only need to complete the ACNC form. Once you complete this form, we will pass the relevant information on to the ATO if your charity registration application is successful.
To be able to register as a charity with the ACNC, your organisation must meet all the eligibility criteria. Our application checklist outlines the information that you need to have to complete the application.
In the application form, you will need to select the type of endorsement you are seeking – either endorsement for the charity as a whole, or endorsement of a fund, authority or institution.
You will need to know the item number for the DGR category you are applying for – this can be found in the ATO’s DGR table. The application will also ask from what date you are seeking DGR endorsement.
Your charity’s governing document needs to include a revocation clause and you will need to provide the clause number in your application.
Visit the ATO website for more information about DGR eligibility, including sample clauses.