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Introduction: Understanding Section 18A Certificates

Understanding Section 18A tax certificates is crucial for both nonprofits and donors. These certificates are a valuable tool for promoting donations to qualifying organisations by allowing the donor to claim a deduction from their taxable income. Donors can enjoy the benefits of supporting a worthy cause while also reducing their tax burden, making it a win-win situation. However, it’s important to note that not all donations qualify for Section 18A certificates, so donors should ensure that they contribute to approved organisations.

Another key point to consider is the transparency and accountability of 18A PBOs in ensuring that donations are used effectively. By providing Section 18A tax certificates, nonprofits can demonstrate their commitment to good governance and responsible use of funds. This can enhance public trust and encourage more individuals and businesses to support their causes. Ultimately, understanding these certificates can foster a culture of philanthropy, benefiting both charitable organisations and society as a whole.

Benefits of Section 18A Tax Certificates for Nonprofits

Section 18A tax certificates offer numerous benefits for nonprofit organisations and their donors. These certificates are issued by organisations that have been approved as Public Benefit Organisations (PBOs) by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in terms of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act. When a donor makes a contribution to an 18A PBO, they are eligible to receive a Section 18A tax certificate, which allows them to claim a deduction from their taxable income. This serves as an incentive for individuals and businesses to support nonprofit organisations, as they can enjoy tax benefits while also contributing to a public benefit cause. For nonprofit organisations, the ability to issue Section 18A tax certificates helps to attract more donors and increase funding for their programs and initiatives. Ultimately, these certificates help facilitate the flow of donations to PBOs, benefiting both the organisations and the communities they serve.

Incentivizing Donors through Tax Deductions

The issue of incentivizing donors through tax deductions is a crucial aspect of non-profit fundraising. By providing donors with the opportunity to receive a tax deduction for their charitable contributions, organisations have greatly increased the of receiving donations. Donors who are able to claim a tax deduction for their charitable donations are more likely to be motivated to give and to give larger amounts. This not only helps organisations to raise more funds but also helps to retain donors over the long term. Furthermore, offering tax deductions for charitable donations can contribute to enhancing donor confidence in the organisation, as donors can feel assured that their contributions are recognized and valued.

The Process of claiming tax back from SARS

  1. The 18A PBO must give the donor a Section18A Tax Certificate.
  2. The donor sends the Section18A certificate to SARS with his 2024 tax return.
  3. The PBO prepares the IT3(d) form and submits it to SARS.
  4. SARS corroborates the information.

Case Study: Comparative Analysis of Nonprofit Fundraising for Child Welfare – Nonprofit A vs. Nonprofit B


Two nonprofits, Nonprofit A and Nonprofit B, are actively involved in fundraising for child welfare. The key distinction between them is that Nonprofit A is registered as a PBO and has approval from SARS to issue donors with Section 18A tax certificates. On the other hand, Nonprofit B is registered solely as an NPO.


John’s company is contemplating making a substantial donation of R 1,000,000 to one of these organisations. The critical factor influencing their decision is the potential tax benefits associated with their contribution.

Nonprofit A:

If John’s company chooses to donate to Nonprofit A, they will be eligible to receive a Section 18A Tax Certificate. This certification implies that their donation is tax-deductible, and in the upcoming financial year, they will be able to claim on their donation from SARS. The Section 18A Tax Certificate enables them to enjoy Income Tax Savings amounting to R270,000 on their initial donation.

Nonprofit B:

Conversely, if John’s company decides to contribute to Nonprofit B, they will not receive a Section 18A certificate. As a result, they will not be able to claim any tax benefits on their donation. Unlike Nonprofit A, Nonprofit B lacks the tax-deductible status that could provide John’s company with financial incentives. As a result his company loses the R 270 000 tax incentive and they will have to pay R 200 000 in donation tax to SARS (20% x R 1 m).


Considering both the substantial tax benefits and John’s desire to make a meaningful impact on child welfare in South Africa, it is likely that he will choose to donate to Nonprofit A. The added assurance that his entire contribution will contribute directly to the cause, coupled with the tax advantages, makes Nonprofit A a compelling choice for John’s philanthropic investment.

What is the Impact of Section 18A on Fundraising Efforts?

  • Tax Deductions for Donations: Section 18A significantly impacts fundraising by allowing tax deductions for donations to specific organisations.
  • Incentivizing Contributions: Individuals and businesses are motivated to donate to charitable causes due to the opportunity to claim tax relief on their contributions.
  • Boosting Non-profit Organisations: Non-profits and charities can attract more donors and raise additional funds, benefiting their operations and programs.
  • Positive Domino Effect: Increased financial support enables organisations to expand their reach and have a more substantial impact in their communities.
  • Encouraging Transparency and Accountability: Tax benefits under Section 18A promote transparency and accountability in fundraising, with donors favouring organisations adhering to regulations and standards.
  • Powerful Influence: Overall, Section 18A exerts a powerful influence on fundraising efforts, leading to increased support for philanthropic causes and societal betterment.


Conclusion: Maximizing the Potential of Section 18A Tax Certificates

In conclusion, it is clear that there are many benefits to be gained from maximizing the potential of Section 18A tax certificates. Not only do these certificates provide an opportunity to for donors to receive tax deductions for their charitable contributions, but they also offer 18A PBOs a valuable tool for attracting and retaining donors. By understanding the specific requirements and limitations of Section 18A, organizations can effectively communicate the benefits to potential donors and encourage them to make larger contributions. Additionally, implementing best practices for issuing and tracking Section 18A certificates can help streamline the process and ensure that donors receive the proper documentation for their tax returns. Furthermore, PBOs should also be mindful of the impact that maximizing Section 18A certificates can have on their overall fundraising strategies and financial planning. By leveraging the full potential of these certificates, both donors and non-profit organizations can work together to make a greater impact on their communities and beyond.