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Tax and the Charities Commission


Most volunteers are not experts in tax fact, if you have a volunteer who is, make sure you don't let them go!

But for the rest of us there is help out there.  We hope the article below gives you a great start - remember to just click on the underlined text to be taken to the website being discussed.

Inland Revenue Department

When it comes to money you need to know about your tax obligations.  The IRD website has a section for non-profit organisations which is easy to navigate - to see that section of the IRD's website just click here.   The IRD offer a Smart Business Guide, which is a guide to tax obligations, record keeping and income and expenses for businesses and non-profit organisations.  This guide contains information on:

  • What records to keep and suggestions on how to keep them
  • Cashflow forecasting and time management
  • Basic tax responsibilities, and
  • Services you may need    

The Guide can be downloaded from the IRD website – just click here.  

The IRD also has a section for Maori Organisations, which provides information for Maori authorities and Marae including an outline of the Maori authority election process, the application of provisional tax and the process organisations must follow when making distributions to members.   To see this section click here.

More information on record keeping

More information about record keeping is also available in the Community Resource Kit, which is available from the Community Net website.  This Record Keeping section has four parts

  • Organising your records
  • Organising your Filing System
  • Keeping Information Safe and Private; and
  • Where to Go for More Information. 

Click here to see this Record Keeping section of the Community Resource Kit. 

The Community Resource Kit was launched in 2006 and is designed to be a practical “hands on” resource to help voluntary organisations get started and to develop good practice in the voluntary sector. The Kit can be read online or you can download it and print the sections you need.   

Charities Commission

Since 1 July 2008 a charitable organisation needs to be registered by the Charities Commission to receive tax exemptions. The Charities Commission registers and monitors charities, as well as providing support and information on good governance and management.   

Registering with the Charities Commission is voluntary and has no bearing on the legal or donee status of an organisation.  However only charities registered with the Commission are eligible for charitable tax exemptions.  

Through the Charities Commission website you fin out how to register your organisation – they have a list of all the information you will need to supply here.  You can also search the Charities Register – anyone can do it and it is useful if you are looking to donate to a charity or if you need help from a charity.   

If you know of any other information you would like to see included in this section, or if there are questions about this topic that you would like answered, please let us know by clicking  here .

Community Awards

The Trustpower Community Awards are run in 25 regions around New Zealand to recognise and reward the outstanding contribution voluntary groups and organisations make in our communities.


Enter a voluntary group online now!


Here you will find all you need to know About the Awards, including When Entries Open in your region, How to Enter a voluntary group for the Awards, where to find and complete an Information Form, who the Regional Winners are and, of course, all about our National Community Awards.


Mistletoe Bay Trust the 2013 Trustpower National Community Awards Supreme Winner. Click here to find out more.