Contributing to medical research in Australia
NeuRA’s Foundation Director, Roewen Wishart, explains the best ways to contribute to medical research at tax time.
Fortunately for medical research, our system of government provides two ways you can support medical research. One, when you pay your taxes you are contributing to Australia’s merit-based program to support research. NeuRA’s scientists have excellent success rates in the hotly contested grants funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, and the Australian Research Council. Recent spectacular successes include large grants to understand and help treat and prevent motor impairment across many different diseases, and to trial new treatments for sleep apnoea in NeuRA’s new Sleep Research Laboratory.
You also have a second option, and that is to make tax deductible donations to support a particular research area or a particular medical research institute. In effect, when you do this, you are ‘voting with your wallet’. In this age of self-managed superannuation funds, no matter what your income and circumstances, you can ‘self-manage’ the research you wish to support.
When you donate to NeuRA, you also support vital research and equipment that government can’t or won’t fund.
If you choose to give at tax time this year, you may like to take advantage of our four donation and tax tips.
You may be unaware that you can make tax deductible gifts of any size (more than $2), then spread out the benefit of the deductions across five years, in whatever percentages you wish.
If you are keen to support NeuRA with an extra gift in the last weeks of this financial year, you can give more and plan the benefit of the deductions.
More complex rules and a higher threshold of $5,000 apply for gifts other than money – for example gifts of shares, property, etc. and certain specialised gifts like art works.
You can also choose to donate small ‘unmarketable parcels’ of shares to charities including ours and receive a tax deduction for the proceeds, if more than $2. The not-for-profit Share Gift Australia will sell the shares for you brokerage free, and donate the proceeds to a charity of your choice when the value is $50 or more. You can use the same process to donate small parcels of shares from a deceased estate.
ShareGift Australia has advised that it must receive documentation by 20 June in order to complete sales for the 2013-14 financial year. Sale and donation of the proceeds does still carry CGT implications.
If you are planning to donate this financial year, please mail your donation to arrive ideally before Thursday 26 June, to be sure we can issue your tax-deduction receipt dated before 30 June. You can donate online up until June 30.
If you would like to avoid last-minute decisions about your giving next year, please consider giving an automatic donation each month and help NeuRA to See it Through to a Cure.
NeuRA’s researchers are deeply grateful for your support. Please phone our Foundation staff with any questions or to make a donation by credit card on 1300 888 019, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again for your support.