Tax Implications of Donations Made by Companies in South Africa

By | April 27, 2023

Corporate social responsibility is an important aspect of doing business in South Africa. Many companies make donations to various charitable organizations as part of their commitment to social responsibility.

These donations not only help the organizations but also provide tax benefits to the companies.

However, it is important for companies to understand the tax implications of these donations to avoid any legal issues.

In this article, we will discuss the tax implications of donations made by companies in South Africa.

Donations to Public Benefit Organizations

Public benefit organizations (PBOs) are organizations that are approved by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to provide public benefits in the form of welfare, education, health care, religion, or the environment. Donations made to PBOs are tax-deductible for companies.

Criteria for Donations to PBOs

To qualify for tax-deductible donations, PBOs must meet certain criteria:

  • The organization must be registered with SARS as a PBO
  • The organization must have a public benefit activity
  • The organization must not be a political party or a sport or recreational club
  • The organization must not operate for the benefit of its members or employees

Donations to Non-PBOs

Donations made to non-PBOs are not tax-deductible for companies. Non-PBOs are organizations that do not meet the criteria for PBOs.

Exceptions for Donations to Non-PBOs

There are certain exceptions where donations made to non-PBOs are tax-deductible for companies. These exceptions include:

  • Donations made to certain public schools, universities, and colleges
  • Donations made for disaster relief
  • Donations made for certain public benefit activities, such as the promotion of sports or culture

Limitations on Deductible Donations

There are limitations on the amount of tax-deductible donations that companies can make. The amount of the donation that can be deducted depends on the type of organization receiving the donation.


Companies can deduct donations made to PBOs up to 10% of their taxable income. However, if the donation is made to a PBO that is also a public school, university, or college, the deduction is limited to 20% of taxable income.


Donations made to non-PBOs are not tax-deductible, except for the exceptions mentioned above.

Reporting Requirements

Companies that make donations to PBOs must keep proper records of the donations and provide these records to SARS upon request. The records must include:

  • The name and registration number of the PBO
  • The date and amount of the donation
  • The type of donation (cash, goods, services)
  • The public benefit activity to which the donation was made

The Importance of Proper Documentation for Donation deductions

This subheading can discuss the importance of keeping proper records of donations made by companies. 

SARS requires companies to keep records of all donations made to PBOs, including the name and registration number of the organization, the date and amount of the donation, and the nature of the donation (cash, goods, or services). 

Companies must also obtain receipts or certificates from the PBOs to confirm the donations. 

Proper documentation is important to avoid any disputes with SARS and to ensure that companies receive the full tax benefits of their donations.

RELATED POST: How to apply for a rebate of excise duty in South Africa

One thought on “Tax Implications of Donations Made by Companies in South Africa

  1. Pingback: Tax Implications of Importing Goods into South Africa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *