The COVID-19 pandemic began on 18 March 2020 and has caused widespread health and economic impacts for the Australian community. On 6 May 2020, the Federal Government declared the COVID-19 pandemic a disaster, the Australian Taxation Office reports.
This declaration allows Australian Disaster Relief Funds that are established for the relief of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to receive tax-deductible donations. Donations will be tax-deductible when made within two years from 18 March 2020.
In order to receive tax-deductible donations, Australian Disaster Relief Funds will need to:
- apply to the ATO for DGR endorsement as a Disaster Relief Fund for the purpose of COVID-19
- be registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
A separate disaster relief fund is required when a new disaster is declared. Funds established for bushfire relief purposes cannot be used for COVID-19 related relief.
COVID-19 declared a disaster (Australian Taxation Office)