1. What does Catholic Mission do?
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for He has anointed me. He has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.” – Luke 4:18-19
Catholic Mission is the international mission agency of the Catholic Church in Australia. Locally and globally, we answer the call to love God and to love our neighbour, and work to establish the Reign of God through building communities of missionary disciples who share their faith by proclaiming the Word, serving people in need, acting for justice and creation, and adopting child-focused, community-based development programs.
Compelled by the message, life and love of Jesus Christ, Catholic Mission forms Australians for mission and raises funds for mission—in Australia and around the world. This enables missionaries to reach out to help children and communities in need, and provide vital training for seminarians, novices, catechists, and other young Church leaders.
Catholic Mission operates in over 160 countries to support initiatives in 1,100 dioceses under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. Through the Home Mission Fund we support the church in remote Australia and in service of Indigenous communities. Grassroots needs are identified by local Catholics, to give people the opportunity for a full, enriched life—physically and spiritually—regardless of race, stigma, religion or gender.
2. Why does Catholic Mission split donations into tax-deductible and non-tax-deductible gifts?
Catholic Mission is legally entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts for charitable activities and provide tax-deductible receipts for donations made to these activities.
Catholic Mission is an approved organisation under the Australian Tax Office’s (ATO) Overseas Aid Gift Deduction Scheme (OAGDS).
In addition, Catholic Mission is supported by the Catholic Mission Benevolent Trust, which is a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).
In our fundraising promotional material, we clearly indicate which of our activities are tax-deductible and non-tax-deductible under the current OAGDS and PBI guidelines. Our supporters are then able to make an informed decision as to which type of projects they would like to support.
By adhering to the OAGDS and PBI guidelines, and complying with Australian federal tax and charity law, Catholic Mission is able to support the Catholic Church and its religious orders around the world to serve people in need, while also offering greater accountability and different giving options to our donors.
3. Which activities are tax-deductible and non-tax-deductible?
Based on the Australian Tax Office’s (ATO) guidelines for overseas aid activities, we categorise projects into two types: tax-deductible and non-tax-deductible.
Catholic Mission partners with overseas dioceses, religious orders and other organisations. Some of their projects are tax-deductible while others are not.
Programs delivered by locally based dioceses and religious orders, such as welfare and community development projects which include the provision of food, water, sanitation, agriculture, job creation, social enterprise, microfinance, education and emergency relief programs are tax-deductible.
According to the PBI guidelines endorsed by the ATO, in the case of schools and orphanages, activities such as the provision of textbooks, uniforms, food, school fees and construction activities are generally considered to be welfare activities where they are directed to those children in need; hence, they are tax-deductible.
However, all evangelisation or pastoral activities remain non-tax-deductible. Donations towards formation activities including the training of novices, seminarians, and catechists; and the building or renovating of church buildings are non-tax-deductible.
4. How do I know if my donation is tax-deductible or non-tax-deductible?
For one-off gifts given to any of Catholic Mission’s fundraising campaigns, including direct mail, parish appeals and online giving, prior to finalising your donation you will be prompted to indicate whether you would like to give a tax-deductible or non-tax-deductible gift.
Regular gifts to our Leaders for Life regular giving program are not tax-deductible as they support faith formation projects. Regular gifts to our Children’s Mission Partners regular giving program are divided into two groups: tax-deductible donations which support child-focused development programs and welfare activities; and non-tax-deductible gifts which support faith formation activities for children. Regular gifts to our Friends in Faith regular giving program are divided into two groups: tax-deductible donations which support community-focused development programs and welfare activities; and non-tax-deductible gifts which support faith formation activities for communities.
5. Do I have to do anything to ensure my donation is tax-deductible?
If you are giving a one-off gift, prior to finalising your donation you will be prompted to indicate whether you would like to give a tax-deductible or non-tax-deductible gift.
If you are signing up to become a regular giver, you will be able to indicate if you prefer to support Catholic Mission’s faith formation programs (non-tax-deductible) or our children or community development and welfare programs (tax-deductible).
If you are in direct communication with one of our Catholic Mission staff members, either over the phone or face to face, simply let them know if you would like to give a tax-deductible or non-tax-deductible gift.
6. How will a non-tax-deductible donation help Catholic Mission?
If you do not need to claim a tax-deduction for your donation, we would encourage you to consider making a non-tax-deductible donation which will enable Catholic Mission to continue to fund those activities deemed non-tax-deductible under Australian law. . These activities are crucial to the life of the Church in communities around the world and include evangelisation and pastoral activities; the training of novices, seminarians, and catechists; and the building or renovating of church buildings and homes for church leaders, as well as associated buildings.
7. What's the difference between Catholic Mission and Caritas?
Catholic Mission and Caritas are separate, but equally important, missionary agencies of the Catholic Church globally. The work of each agency complements the other and we share many of the same supporters in Australia. The global Catholic Mission network works closely with the local Bishops Conference in each country and reports to the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples in Rome, whilst each agency in the global Caritas network reports to the Bishops Conference in its own country. Funds raised by Caritas assist communities to strengthen their capacities and independence through long term development programs, with a focus on sustainable livelihoods, disaster risk reduction, and protection of vulnerable children, women and men. In response to international disasters, the primary Caritas focus is on providing food, water, health care and shelter to impacted communities, as well as long-term recovery efforts. Funds raised by Catholic Mission support local churches and communities through spiritual, pastoral and building programs, the training and formation of priests, religious, and catechists, care for vulnerable children, and promoting and forming people for mission. Following a disaster, Catholic Mission assists in a range of ways, including supporting pastoral initiatives and the rebuilding of church infrastructure.
8. When will I receive my annual tax statement?
Tax receipts for “one off” gifts are emailed or posted immediately following the receipt of your gift so we ask that you hold on to those statements. If you give a regular, automated gift to our work with children, communities or Church leaders, or to our Seminarian Supporters Program, Myanmar, Ghana or Cambodia Missions programs, you will receive your consolidated, annual tax statement in July.
9. How will I receive my annual tax statement?
To help better steward your donations, we endeavour to send receipts via email to save printing and postage costs. Sending your tax statement via email also helps us get it to you quicker than the post. If you are not sure whether or not we have your updated email address, please call our team on 1800 257 296 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. What can I do if I need my annual tax statement before the end of July?
You can use statements from your bank as records of your gifts or donations to Catholic Mission. Please be mindful that any gifts to our Leaders for Life program are not tax-deductible. If all of your gifts during the year were tax-deductible, then your bank statements are sufficient; however, if you have any questions, we recommend using the statement issued in July by Catholic Mission.