Charity is a core pillar in the world of personal finance.
Many famous personal finance gurus, including Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad, Poor. Dad fame and Dave Ramsey follow a tithing system, where they give away 10% of their wealth. Some religious organisations suggest you should do this too but in this case their charity is self-directed, so not pointed at a religious institution.
If you can afford to give away 10% of your annual income, which goes to a good cause(s), great.
If you can do more, even better. If you can't, well that's okay too.
As I write in my book, generosity comes in many forms.
You can gift your time, talent, knowledge, unused assets, patience and kindness. Heck, you can even donate your body to science when you die. What else are you going to do with it?
For over a decade now, I have been gifting regularly, giving money each month to three different charities in addition to many one-offs. My dear dad has adopted a diversified gifting strategy and donates to 52 other charities, one for each week of the year. Dad has great karma.
I give in other ways as a volunteer and through my KiwiSaver investments with Simplicity KiwiSaver. The latter isn't much on an individual basis, but as an aggregate, the 140k plus members have donated more than $5 million, which shows all those dollars and cents add up when bundled together.
But enough with the virtue signalling, and down to business.
If you donate to charity, it is now easier than ever to claim a Government rebate on a portion of it.
As long as you give to a registered charity, you're eligible to get 33.33% of it back. You can regift that portion to the charity, or another one, or to someone who could use it more than you i.e your kids!
It used to be much more complicated process.
You had to download paper forms, print them, and return to via post to Lower Hutt with all those paper receipts, assuming you kept them.
I've blogged about the process before but here's another recap if you missed it.
Filter through your email by date and find all the electronic tax receipts from the tax year April 1, 2022 - March 31, 2023. If you didn't get one in by email, you might have to request one from the charity or take a photo of the one you received in the post.
Login MyIR. If you still need an account, create one immediately. This is how those cost of living cheques found people and their bank accounts. You can have one registered against your account.
At the top of the summary page, you'll see a section called Donation Tax Credit. Click Enter Donation Tax Receipts. That will take you through uploading the Tax Receipts for each charity. You'll have to enter the charity name, amount and GST# or registered charity number, but all of that should be on the receipts you dug up.
Instruct IRD whether to regift those amounts you have claimed or add your bank details to get it back in your account. Only one person in the family can claim the rebate, so don't double dip here.
Remember that school donations also count, so get that paperwork from your school.
Every little bit counts, now more than ever.
Amanda is a personal finance specialist and published author based in Auckland, New Zealand. She is also a certified meditation and yoga instructor which informs her teachings on financial wellness.