Tax Deductibility of Donations to Ward Mission Funds Restored

The following notice regarding tax implications for donations to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' ward mission funds was recently sent to Church leaders in New Zealand:

In 2015, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) began disputing tax credit claims by members for donations to ward mission funds. The IRD reasoned that such donations do not qualify as “gifts”. Over the past five years, the IRD has sent notices to donors denying tax credits for donations to ward mission funds.

During this time, the dispute has been heard in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and more recently the IRD applied to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. On 30 September 2020, the Supreme Court dismissed the IRD’s request to allow them to appeal, thus ending the case once and for all.

We are therefore pleased to report that by virtue of the Supreme Court decision, all ward mission fund donations have been found to indeed be “gifts” and thus qualify for tax credits under the New Zealand Income Tax Act 2007. The IRD has advised that such donors are now entitled to tax credits retroactively back to 2015.

IRD has also advised that they are now processing and paying out WMF donation tax credit claims based on documentation previously filed by donors that was either disallowed or not claimed. Donors who have never claimed may wish to file immediately. If any donor has not heard from IRD by 6 November 2020, the IRD indicated they can email IRD at

If any donor has questions about the impact of this decision on them, we suggest that they speak with their tax consultant.

Yuri-Tiara (middle) serving with sister missionaries
Missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints volunteer for 18 to 24 months. They provide community service and support families and individuals who are seeking to strengthen their faith in God and Jesus Christ. Many young missionaries save for years to fund their missions. Others, including family members and friends, also support missionaries through donations.© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

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