Maximising Your Giving: Understanding How to Claim Tax Relief for Your Donations and Charitable Giving in Singapore

a group of people in a circle joining hands together

So faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
– 1 Corinthians 13:13.

Just as God loves us, we are called to love all our brothers and sisters. Charitable giving is an act of love that helps people in need through small or big ways. It can be as simple as buying food for someone who doesn’t have enough money for lunch or donating to charitable organisations. No matter how you choose to help, know that your acts of giving make a difference and reflect God’s commandment to love.

Importance of Charity Donations in Singapore
Charity is a vital part of our society as it ensures the protection and welfare of the most vulnerable people in our community. The Singapore government has always recognised the importance of charity through policies, initiatives, and governance to ensure that approved charitable organisations are channelling help to where it is needed.

Benefits of Making Charity Donations in Singapore
Apart from the overarching aim of helping people who are in need, making charity donations in Singapore can have a positive impact on both the donor and the community at large.

A little goes a long way in creating ripples that help to form a stronger community through the shared experience of giving. As part of the government’s initiative to encourage people to donate more to registered organisations, they offer tax deductions to individuals who make charitable donations to these charities.

Making a donation isn’t just about providing financial aid to a particular cause or organisation. It also brings forth a plethora of altruistic benefits that can positively impact one’s mental and emotional health. By engaging in this act of kindness, individuals can be seen as role models within their community, inspiring others to donate and to be more grateful. Furthermore, the act of donating can enhance one’s feelings of happiness and fulfillment, increasing empathy and compassion towards others. It’s truly an honorable act that not only benefits the recipient but also the donor.

Ultimately, the main goal of the donations is to garner and channel funds to our brothers and sisters in need. Financial contributions will be used to provide basic necessities and services such as education and healthcare to the poor, the disadvantaged and other vulnerable communities.

a man and woman smiling while doing

Overview of Tax Deductions for Donations in Singapore
The Singapore government offers tax deductions for donations made to registered charities which have been approved as an Institution of Public Character (IPC). The deduction will be automatically included in your tax assessment if you have provided your NRIC/FIN/UEN.

The tax deduction scheme for charities in Singapore is administered by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Individuals and corporations can claim tax deductions for donations made to any approved charity with IPC status in Singapore that are registered with the Commissioner of Charities (COC) and which have been granted tax-exempt status by IRAS.

How to Claim Charity Tax Donations in Singapore
Individual donors can claim tax deductions for monetary donations, shares donations or in-kind donations such as artefacts. While corporate donors will be able to submit claims for monetary and in-kind donations such as computers and artefacts.

Donors should note that tax deduction is given for donations made in the preceding year. Donations must be made before the year ends for the tax deduction to be allowed in the next tax season. If you have made a donation in 2022, tax deduction will be allowed in your tax assessment for the Assessment Year 2023.

There is no need for you to declare donation amounts in your income tax return. Tax deductions for qualifying donations will be automatically reflected in your tax assessment based on the information from the IPC.

Summary for Tax Relief for Donations
Now, you have all the more reason to donate to charities in Singapore. Not only will you help people in need and contribute to the betterment of society, you can also benefit by lowering your payable taxes.

Do note that tax exemptions are only applicable for donations to registered charities with IPC status. Therefore, you may want to conduct your own research on approved charities such as Caritas Singapore.

Overview of Member Charities we Support in Caritas Singapore
Caritas Singapore works hand in hand with our member organisations to address social issues across different community sectors. Most of our member organisations are approved Institutes of Public Character (IPC), which allows them to issue tax-deductible receipts.

Communities whom we serve are the Poor & Elderly, Families, Children & Youth, Persons with Disabilities or Special Needs, Persons with Medical Needs, Persons Living with HIV/AIDS, The Incarcerated, Migrant Workers and more. Below is a list of some of our member organisations.

migrant workers receiving food rations

For the Poor
Some of us live comfortably without worrying too much about our daily cost of living. However, some of our brothers and sisters in need go through many challenges just to make ends meet and gain access to basic necessities. Many organisations have taken on the mantle to help the vulnerable in our society. Find out more about the charity organisations under Caritas Singapore and how they help the community.

lone boy sitting in a football field

Boys' Town
Boys’ Town is a non-profit organisation founded in 1948 by the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel with the goal of providing education and opportunities to help children and youth from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Boys’ Town offers a range of services including residential, fostering, adventure therapy, youth outreach, and other community and school-based programs. Their beneficiaries are boys and girls from newborns to 24 years old who come from disadvantaged and disengaged families, and have faced hardship due to the tough situations at home, financial struggles, abandonment, and abuse. Each year, Boys’ Town works with around 1,500 children and youth to equip them with the necessary skills to become responsible and contributing members of society.

young volunteer and old lady holding hands

For The Elderly
Donating to support the elderly can make a meaningful difference in their lives. Unfortunately, some elderly are left alone by families because they are unable to care for them. The elderly often face challenges such as social isolation, health issues, and financial insecurity. Below are a few of our member organisations that are involved in elderly and hospice care in Singapore. Each of these organisations provide comprehensive social services for the elderly in the community.

Catholic Welfare Services (CWS)
Catholic Welfare Services aims to uplift the lives of the less fortunate in the community to improve the overall well-being of those who are facing economic, social, or cultural disadvantage, following in the spirit of the Good Shepherd by leading people towards love and fulfilment. CWS provides a holistic range of programmes and services including Nursing Homes, social assistance programmes, and collaborative initiatives with other organisations in the community. This is accomplished through a variety of means, including providing access to basic needs such as food, shelter, childcare services, to youth and family programmes, to education programmes for individuals seeking to upskill themselves and to eldercare services for the sunset years. Ultimately, the aim of uplifting the lives of the less fortunate in the community is to help those who have fallen along the way and to create a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential regardless of their circumstances.

Montfort Care
Montfort Care is a network of programmes committed to improving the lives of individuals, families and the community facing transitional challenges. A team of social service professionals provide community-based social services to empower lives and strengthen communities. Services offered by Montfort Care include three Family Service Centres, child protection service by its Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre, cyber wellness programme for youth by its MeToYou Cyber Care programme, as well as GoodLife! and YAH! programmes to support both active and frail seniors to age-in-place.

For Vulnerable Children and Families
Donating to support vulnerable children and families can help ensure that they have access to basic needs and opportunities to thrive and provide them with a sense of stability and security. This, in turn, can help to build up their confidence and self-esteem, enabling them to develop to their fullest potential.

catholic nun teaching children in a classroom from Canossaville Preschool

Canossaville Children and Community Services (CCCS)
Canossaville Children and Community Services (CCCS) is a Catholic social service agency, serving and impacting the lives of children and their families across their preschool and primary years, regardless of race, language or religion. With the vision of Forming Hearts, Transforming Lives and Empowering communities, they seek to support education programs that can help provide opportunities for vulnerable children to access quality education. Founded by the Canossian Sisters in 1941, Canossaville is licensed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).

HopeHouse is a registered charity under the MSF and is a home which provides residential programmes for youths at risk. Their vision is to be an Oasis of Hope, with the goal of giving youths hope for a new beginning. It aims to provide them support that can help and guide them back towards meaningful lives. HopeHouse strives to provide a homely environment that is conducive for their emotional, social and educational development and to enable them to grow to their fullest potential. Its objective is to nurture them to become responsible adults and facilitate them to return back to their families and to society, as everyone deserves a second chance.

Morning Star Community Services (MSCS)
Morning Star Community Services (MSCS) is dedicated to enriching and strengthening family relationships. Their aim is to empower individuals and families through a range of programs and services to build vibrant communities that can make a difference to society. With six centres islandwide, MSCS offers a variety of services to support families. These include after-school care services, CareNights for temporary caregiving, and various upstream and early intervention programs. They also provide educational workshops and counselling services to assist families navigate through challenging times.

Infant Jesus Homes and Children’s Centres (IJHCC)
Inspired by the mission of the Infant Jesus Sisters, the Infant Jesus Homes and Children’s Centres (IJHCC) continue to serve at-risk children and young persons from financially challenged and disadvantaged family backgrounds. They serve and support the community in caring for those in need of protection through their Residential Care Programme. By providing relevant programmes and activities in a safe and caring environment, IJHCC aims to enable them to be inspired, gain confidence and develop in character during this critical phase in their lives.

a circle of people joining hands

How to Make a Charity Donation in Singapore
Making charity donations in Singapore is a meaningful way to give back to society and create a positive impact on the lives of those in need. By supporting the charities, you can help to address critical social issues and to provide essential services to vulnerable individuals and communities.

You are encouraged to research an organisation that you feel most aligns with your values and philanthropic goals before donating to them. To ensure you are eligible for tax incentives and benefits please do confirm that the charities that you want to donate to are approved as Institutes of Public Character (IPC) .

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About Caritas Singapore
Caritas Singapore is the official social and community arm of the Catholic Church in Singapore, and the umbrella body for Catholic charities and organisations whose work has touched the lives of many regardless of race or religion. We are also a member of Caritas Internationalis, a global confederation of over 160 humanitarian organisations.

We welcome your support through donations in the form of cash, cheques, and legacy giving to enable us to continue on our social mission in making Singapore a better place for all.

Join our upcoming Charities Week 2023 which is an annual fundraising campaign to empower our work and that of our member organisations. We made quite an impact in Charities Week 2022 with a total of $7,542,099 collected. Donations were channeled to our member organisations through the disbursement of grants after careful internal evaluations. These grants are allocated to social service programmes that are efficient and effective in addressing a need or service gap.

Your continued support means the world to us and the communities we help. Be a part of something great – our social mission here on earth is to love one another just as God has loved us.