Charitable donations on the rise
The number of gifts claimed as tax deductions for donations totalled $1.8 million in 2007, a massive 21.1% increase from $1.5 million in the previous year, according to charity research firm Givewell.
New figures from the firm also show that the number of individuals claiming a tax deductible gift jumped 2.1%, and most donations were from individuals claiming deductions for a value over $25,000.
The average donation jumped by 18.6% in the 2007 year to $440 a person. The figures also show that while average income has jumped from $28,566 in 1998 to $42,477 in 2007, the average donation has jumped 138%.
But the firm claims that jumps in donations shouldn't be a sign of rises in overall consumer spending.
"Caution should be exercised when interpreting gifts claimed as tax deductions, as previous research by Givewell has found that up to two-thirds of total individual donations are not claimed as tax deductions and this figure is expected to have changed little over the years. This means that the majority of donations are not recorded by the tax office- which makes the figures unrepresentative of giving generally."
"Also, tax office statistics do not provide information on claims for donations by other taxpayers such as companies, trusts or superannuation funds. Thus the biggest givers - the wealthy who provide sponsorship through their own companies or trusts - are not included in these statistics."