This report provides a detailed review of the tax treatment of philanthropic entities
and philanthropic giving in 40 OECD member and participating countries. The report
first examines the various arguments for and against the provision of preferential
tax treatment for philanthropy. It then reviews the tax treatment of philanthropic
entities and giving in the 40 participating countries, in both a domestic and cross-border
context. Drawing on this analysis, the report then highlights a range of potential
tax policy options for countries to consider.
Published on November 26, 2020Also available in: French
Press release: Governments should strike a balance between encouraging philanthropy through tax support and ensuring effective public policy
Blog post: Tax support for Philanthropy: striking the right balance, by Pascal Saint-Amans, Director, OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, and Henry Peter, Head, Geneva Centre for Philanthropy
International conference organised by the Geneva Centre for Philanthropy: "Taxation & Philanthropy: Designing tax incentives for the common good" 26 November 2020
The focus on Philanthropy has substantially increased over the last decade, attracting growing attention from policy makers, the media, the academic community and the public at large. The Notre Dame catastrophe and the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly raised public awareness of the tax treatment to be applied to philanthropic initiatives. The relationship between taxation and philanthropic giving poses a number of fundamental questions. For instance, is it justified to offer tax deductions as a "reward" for donations? Are tax incentives for philanthropy a cost or a benefit to society? Are tax incentives designed in a fair and efficient manner? Can best practices be identified by comparing existing national schemes?
In September 2019, the OECD and the Geneva Centre for Philanthropy launched a joint research project that addresses these issues. The project is the first large-scale international comparative study and led to the milestone report on Taxation and Philanthropy. On the occasion of the Conference, Mr. Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at the OECD, presented the report and provided answers to these crucial questions.