The Cultural Gifts Program helps make important cultural items accessible to the Australian public by providing incentives for donors to gift art and cultural property to Australia's public collecting institutions.
Roles and responsibilities
The process of providing a donor with a tax deduction for a gift made under the Cultural Gifts Program begins when a participating institution accepts the gift into its collection. The recipient institution is responsible for:
Ensuring the gift meets the institution's collection policy, including undertaking due diligence in relation to ensuring it complies with all legal requirements.
Accepting the gift into its permanent collection.
Assisting donors in obtaining at least two valuations for the gift from approved valuers.
Submitting the required documentation to the Department.
Please note: When engaging a valuer to assess a donation, institutions should check that the valuers are approved under the Cultural Gifts Program to undertake valuations of that particular class of property. Failing to ensure this can cause delays in processing the submission.
How to participate in the program
Public collecting institutions must be endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) as a public art gallery, museum or library (including archives) by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
An institution may apply to participate in the program by providing the Department with a copy of its notification of its DGR status from the ATO and a copy of its authorised collection policy, including:
deaccessioning and disposal policy
mechanism of review.
Acknowledging Australian Government support
Recipient Institutions must acknowledge the Cultural Gifts Program when referring to donated items on materials including but not limited to promotional materials, websites, invitations and signage.
The standard acknowledgement for a gift is:
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
Acceptable variations include:
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by [donor's name].
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by [donor's name] in memory of [name].
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program in memory of [name].
Within the spirit of the Program, gifts should be accepted on the basis that they will form part of an institution's permanent collection. However, the Department acknowledges changes in collection policies may occasionally result in the need to deaccession items.
If items are removed from a collection, this should be done in accordance with the institution's deaccessioning policy. Gifts under the Program should not be returned to the donor as the donor has already received the benefit of the tax deduction for the gift.
We hope that this guide may assist you to manage the submission of large or complex donations in a way that is easy to understand and provides a consistent frame of reference for institutions, valuers and Program staff alike.