Tax deductibility of donations to school building funds

Taxation Non-Government schools School fees Australia
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Private school fees are not tax deductible in Australia. Nor are fees or levies paid to public schools. However, many private schools and some public schools operate building or library funds to which parents and ex-students are encouraged to make tax-deductible donations. These donations can increase substantially the funds available to the schools and thereby permit fees to be lower than otherwise. This paper outlines contrasts the Australian Taxation office guidelines, which state that donations must be voluntary and that donors must expect nothing in return, with the statements of some private schools. Deb Wilkinson and Richard Denniss conclude that parents should be formally notified by all private schools about the voluntary nature of all tax-deductible payments and that the ATO should investigate the practice of structuring school fee payments in order to reduce tax.

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