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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

30 June 2000


Taxpayers can now receive a greater benefit from donations to Australia's environment and heritage as a part of the Government's new philanthropy tax package.

Federal Environment and Heritage Minister, Robert Hill said tax deductions for large donations of property to eligible environment or heritage bodies could now be spread over five years.

"A gift of land, for example, valued at $100 000 can be split into five deductions of $20 000 and claimed over five subsequent years," Senator Hill said.

"This prevents tax benefits being lost when donating a large asset because taxable income in that year is less than the value of the gift-this is particularly important for asset rich but income poor donors.

"Business and land-holders can now reap considerably greater financial benefits from donating to Australia's environment and heritage.

"The changes to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 affecting environmental donations are part of a larger Federal Government push to facilitate philanthropy and strengthen partnerships between business and community groups.

"Past disincentives to donate land with significant conservation values have now been removed which will help to protect important environment and heritage sites," Senator Hill said.

The changes to the Act apply to donations made from 1 July 1999. Deductible gifts made to an eligible environment or heritage body must be valued at over $5000 by the Taxation Commissioner.

They can include land, buildings, shares, vehicles and other property. Taxpayers intending to benefit from spreading their deductions need to submit a form to Environment Australia before lodging their tax return. Forms are available from Environment Australia.

Web site:
Phone: (02) 6274 1467

30 June 2000

Media inquiries:
Senator Hill's Office    Rod Bruem    Ph (02) 6277 7640


Attachment to media release: "Donate to the environment-tax incentives"

Key changes to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 affecting donations to environment and heritage bodies:

These changes respond to concerns that tax deductions were not allowed in relation to land that had been owned by the donor for more than 12 months, or that had been acquired without purchase, such as by inheritance.

The changes encourage large donations of property to environment and heritage bodies, including land with conservation values. This creates an incentive to give-as under the previous arrangements property owners could sometimes not afford to make the donation without a tax deduction recognising their gift.

Contact officers in Environment Australia:
Steve Hatfield Dodds (02) 6274 1968
John Heagney (02) 6274 1467

Commonwealth of Australia