Are you giving less to charity than a few years ago? UPDATED

money in your back pocket

…donations claimed by taxpayers fell to an average of $761 last year, compared to the previous year’s $841. That’s a drop of around ten percent.

The numbers are based on analysis of more than 300,000 tax returns filed with IRD.

MayTax chief executive Lester Binns says a person’s income is not necessarily a reliable indicator of how much they choose to donate.

“Although the average amount donated was highest with incomes in excess of $70,000, it was interesting to see there was only a $38 difference between those in the $60,000 – $70,000 bracket and those earning less than $20,000.”

Each group donated around $692.

The average donation made to schools dropped by around 10 percent over the past year.

Donations to religious groups fell by 19 percent to $398.

These numbers are flawed of course.

As these numbers are taken from tax returns, the best we can do is conclude that the amount of donations claimed for tax purposes has changed.  There is a $500 upper limit, so there isn’t much point in declaring more.

The conclusion that rich people only give so little and so little more than poor people is clearly because for tax purposes it is pointless writing down $2,000,000 when only $500 is deductible.

Another sterling piece of journalism from Newshub.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Your article about charitable donations needs checking.  The $500 limit is no longer. Rebate of 33.3% claimed separately from tax
return, but requires a tax return to be filed before payout. None of your commenters seem to have noticed.

I almost never declare donations, I just can’t be bothered, I give for the charity not for the tax deduction.


– Newshub

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.