Payroll Giving donations have hit $3 million since the scheme’s inception 18 months ago, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said today as he applauded Telecom for being the first major corporate to join the scheme.
“It is completely fitting that such a large and cornerstone New Zealand corporate as Telecom has decided to give its employees the chance to donate to charities directly from their pay packets,” Mr Dunne, the architect of the scheme, said.
He said more than 1000 employers had now signed up for Payroll Giving.
“The scheme is growing as New Zealanders become more aware of it and how simple it is,” Mr Dunne said at today’s launch of the Telecom Foundation by Prime Minister John Key in Auckland.
The Telecom Foundation is the company’s new umbrella organisation for all of its charitable and community-based initiatives.
Mr Dunne said he hoped that other major New Zealand companies would follow Telecom’s lead and sign-up to the scheme.
He also thanked Telecom Chief Executive Paul Reynolds for his announcement that the company would match its employees’ donations dollar for dollar up to $1 million.
“I am delighted to see the spirit of corporate citizenship is alive and well, and that Telecom has seen Payroll Giving as worth backing to such an extent,” he said.
“This scheme is a win-win for all concerned, and after I pushed for it for years, it is really gratifying to see it taking off now,” he said.
Payroll Giving allows workers to donate automatically from their pay to a chosen charity from a list approved by Inland Revenue. The employee then gets their tax credit each payday instead of having to make a claim at the end of the tax year.
Total donations have doubled in the past six months alone to hit $3 million, Mr Dunne said.
Payroll giving is available to all employers who file their Employer Monthly Schedules to Inland Revenue electronically and is completely voluntary.
Further information on Payroll Giving can be found at http://www.ird.govt.nz/income-tax-individual/tax-credits/payroll-giving/