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COVID-19 declared a disaster

The COVID-19 pandemic  began on 18 March 2020 and has caused widespread health and economic impacts for the Australian community. On 6 May 2020, the Federal Government declared the COVID-19 pandemic a disaster, the Australian Taxation Office reports.

This declaration allows Australian Disaster Relief Funds that are established for the relief of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to receive tax-deductible donations. Donations will be tax-deductible when made within two years from 18 March 2020.

In order to receive tax-deductible donations, Australian Disaster Relief Funds will need to:

  • apply to the ATO for DGR endorsement as a Disaster Relief Fund for the purpose of COVID-19
  • be registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

A separate disaster relief fund is required when a new disaster is declared. Funds established for bushfire relief purposes cannot be used for COVID-19 related relief.


COVID-19 declared a disaster (Australian Taxation Office)


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