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If you want to donate money tax free, do these three things first to check if the organisation's a PBO

by , 07 November 2014
At this time of year, the spirit of Christmas makes everyone feel a bit more charitable.

This feeling may have caught on in your business too so you decide to make a donation to a worthy organisation.

You ask your employees to suggest a few charities you could donate to. But you're worried the donation might trigger donations tax. That's why you need to check which organisations are public benefit organisations (PBOs) before you choose.

If you're not sure where to get this information, we're here to help...

 

There are three things you can do to find out if an organisation is a tax exempt PBO

 
1. Check the organisation's website
Some organisations will state on their website if they're a PBO or not. If you can find this information on their website then it's quite easy to determine if your donation will be tax exempt. Often the site disclaimer will carry the organisation's tax exemption number.
 
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2. Make a few phone calls
Another easy way to find out if an organisation is a tax exempt PBO is to call them and ask. You can also call SARS and find out from them. 
 
Either SARS or the organisation itself will be able to tell you whether or not it's a tax exempt PBO. Often this direct approach is the easiest way to go as you'll get the answer you need instantly. 
 
When you make these phone calls, ask for the company to verify its tax exemption number.
 
3. Check out the SARS list of PBOs
SARS has a list of PBOs you can find here. There are thousands of organisations you can make donations to tax-free.
 
So give a little this Christmas without worrying about getting a tax bill back from SARS.
 
For more on how to deal with donations tax, check out the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service
 

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