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We all have that charitable cause that is close to our heart. However, it is very critical that companies as well as individuals know which non-profit entities are recognised in our country as well as the tax opportunities of donating to them.

Alison Smith, Fundraising Manager at the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) states that many charities and non-profits in the country often fill in the gaps that government grants don’t reach. “Charities and non - profits just like ours provide a wide range of services to the broader community. We are a charity that saves lives on South African waters, through Education, Prevention and Rescue.”

Smith acknowledges that in the difficult economic times we are in, many corporates might cut back on their support. However, she strongly believes that they should reconsider this especially given that these donations can be tax deductible.

“The tax deduction only applies to donations that are voluntary, gratuitous gifts given out of generosity, without reciprocal obligations or the opportunity of personal benefit for the donor e.g., an entry into a golf day or any other competition,” she explains.

Smith goes on to explain that the NSRI is a registered Public Benefit Organisation and, as such, is able to issue a Section 18A certificate for donations made to the organisation which are tax deductible in terms of and subject to the limitations prescribed in section 18A of the Income Tax Act.

Another attractive factor is that a donation to the NSRI can attract BEE points. “Our rescue operations and educational programmes benefit all South African citizens and are compliant with the B-BBEE codes of good practice. In particular, more than 75% of our beneficiaries are per definition black. As such, our organisation is compliant with the requirements set out in the Act and this has been verified by independent auditors,” she adds

“Our charity depends on donations to survive, without them, we wouldn’t be able to provide the services we deliver to our communities. We encourage existing donors as well as new donors to save tax and save lives” Smith concludes.

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