You can apply to apportion a tax deduction over several income tax returns up to a maximum of five years where the deduction is a result of:
- A gift of money or property valued at more than $5,000 to a tax deductible environmental organisation; or
- The entry into a perpetual conservation covenant with an accredited conservation program. More information about the apportionment of tax deductions relating to conservation covenants can be found at Tax concessions for landowners who enter conservation covenants.
Note: the only tax-deductible heritage organisations, at present, are the state/territory and national bodies of the National Trust.
Do you qualify?
To qualify for apportionment under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, you must:
- donate to an organisation listed on the Register of Environmental Organisations, or the environmental organisations listed in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 or the National Trust organisations listed in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997; and
- have made the donation on or after 1 July 1999; or
- donate property valued at more than $5000; or
- obtain a valuation verifying the value of the gift through the Australian Valuation Office (AVO)
- have entered into a conservation agreement and be eligible for conservation covenant deductions
The AVO charges a fee for valuations on a cost recovery basis and the fee is tax deductible. Information on the valuation process is available from the AVO and in the Income Tax Assessment Amendment Regulations 2000 (No. 2) Statutory Rules 2000 No. 128, dated 21 June 2000.
AVO contact details:
Australian Valuation Office
PO Box 707
Civic Square ACT 2608
Phone: 02 6216 1978
Fax: 02 6216 1990
To find out which environmental organisations have tax deductibility status, go to the Register of Environmental Organisations site. The site also lists the 13 environmental organisations that are specified in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 as having tax deductibility status.
How to make an apportionment
To take advantage of this scheme, you must make an election stating how much of the deduction you will claim each year over a period of up to five years.
To make an election, you must use the appropriate form available below. You can also make a variation to a previous election by using the same form. A guide is provided to assist you in completing the form.
You must lodge a copy of the form with the Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
The Department will acknowledge the lodgment of your form in writing. You should keep the original of your form and the Departmental acknowledgment as part of your tax records. Also, you must keep the original receipt for the donation from the recipient body and the original valuation certificate from the Australian Valuation Office in your tax records.
The Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has no role in vetting or approving the applications for election. This role is performed by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) as part of its normal audit processes. The ATO may use records kept by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities for audit purposes.
Obtaining the form
The following apportionment election forms will guide you through the process of making an election.
For apportionment of donations to the environment and heritage bodies:
For apportionment of conservation covenant deductions:
Alternatively, you can contact the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities by telephone on 02 6274 1467 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for the form to be posted or faxed to you.
Division 30 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 covers the gift deduction provisions. The Act can be viewed at the Australian Attorney Generals Department's Comlaw web site.