Tax-deductible donations fall 36% to five-year low in 2016

Tax-deductible donations fall 36% to five-year low in 2016

Some foreign domestic workers have borrowed from moneylenders indiscriminately.
File photo of Singapore dollars. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: The amount of tax-deductible donations made to charities in Singapore fell to a five-year low in 2016, the annual report of the Commissioner of Charities showed. 

The total amount of such donations made in 2016 fell to S$865.6 million, a 36 per cent decrease from S$1,361.0 million in 2015.

The fall was partly attributed to the tax deduction reverting to 250 per cent after the 300 per cent tax deduction during Singapore's golden jubilee in 2015, the report said.

The report added that the current economic uncertainty may have had an adverse effect on charitable giving. 

Chart: Decline in tax-deductible donations
(Chart: Commissioner of Charities Annual Report 2016, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth)

In the report, Commissioner of Charities Dr Ang Hak Seng said that one of his key priorities was to strengthen the charity sector's governance, citing the refined Code of Governance as well as proposed amendments to the Charities Act that would help charities improve their accountability.

Dr Ang also warned that charities could be susceptible to exploitation for financing terror, and called for the sector to evolve and adapt accordingly. 

The commissioner called on donors to find out more about charities and individuals in need, before lending their support.

Should online fund-raising platforms be used, it is important for donors to be aware of the terms and conditions, as well as the fee structures of these platforms, to be clear on how their donations are being utilised, Dr Ang said.

Source: CNA/aa