Donating to a PBO? Check SARS’ New Requirements (and PBOs Note Your New 31 May Deadline)

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Tax

“[The new requirements] enable… a more efficient process to make deductions available to qualifying donor taxpayers and to help prevent section 18A claims abuse.” (SARS)

Public benefit organisations (PBOs) are engaged in public benefit activities for example religious institutions, day care centres, disaster relief organisations, health clinics, etc.

Many are dependent on donations and, to encourage the public’s generosity, a tax deduction for certain donations made by taxpayers is provided.

Qualifying PBOs (i.e. section 18A-approved organisations) may issue tax certificates – called section 18A receipts – to donors.    This tax certificate – or section 18A receipt issued by a section 18A-approved organisation – entitles you or your company to a deduction from taxable income for bona fide donations in cash or of property.

While approved section 18A institutions were previously required to keep records of all section 18A receipts issued, the requirements have changed, affecting both PBOs and their private and corporate donors.

PBOs: New requirements, and a 31 May 2024 deadline

Previously, the information that had to be provided by a PBO for a valid section 18A certificate was limited to the details of the PBO; details of the date, amount or nature of the donation; confirmation of how the donation would be used; and the name and address of the donor.

Last year, SARS issued further requirements for more detailed information to be included on all section 18A certificates issued from 1 March 2023. This includes the nature of the donor; the donor’s identification or registration number; donor trading name (if different from the registered name); donor income tax reference number; donor contact number and e-mail address; and a unique receipt number.

In addition, this year – like other third parties such as the banks, medical schemes and fund administrators required by law to send data to SARS – all PBOs are now also required to submit bi-annual reports – called an IT3(d) – to SARS. The first deadline for PBOs in this respect is 31 May 2024.

From this date, approved section 18A tax exempt institutions must submit data on section 18A tax deductible receipts issued, which includes information on the S18A approved tax exempt institution, donation information and donor information for the 2023/2024 year of assessment (i.e. S18A receipts data from 01 March 2023 to 28 February 2024) by submission of IT3(d) data via efiling.

Professional assistance is essential

While it has always been best practice to check with your accountant first before making a donation and relying on the tax break, it is now more crucial than ever for companies and individuals to ensure that the PBO being supported, as well as the tax certificate – or section 18A receipt – issued to obtain a tax deduction, meet SARS’ new requirements. Also remember to check the limits: the amount of donations which may qualify for a tax deduction is limited to up to 10% of taxable income.

We can also help PBOs to ensure they can meet the new requirements and deadlines, to ensure compliance and that their donors can enjoy the tax breaks that will encourage generous giving.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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