Institutions of a Public Character (IPC) status

An approved IPC is an NPO with a charity status whose activities are beneficial to the community in Singapore as a whole, and not confined to sectional interests or group of persons based on race, creed, belief or religion. IPC are approved by the Commissioner of Charities to receive tax-deductible donations (i.e. donors are given tax deduction for donations made to these organisations). Most IPCs are charities, and the rest are sports associations. The processing time on applying for IPC status takes about two months.

Who can apply for IPC status?

  1. a hospital not operated or conducted for profit;
  2. a public or benevolent institution not operated or conducted for profit;
  3. a public authority or society not operated or conducted for profit and which is engaged in research or other work connected with the causes, prevention or cure of disease in human beings, where the gift is for such activities;
  4. a university or a public fund for the establishment, maintenance, enlargement or improvement of a university;
  5. an educational institution not operated or conducted for profit, or a public fund for the establishment, maintenance, enlargement or improvement of such an educational institution;
  6. a public or private fund for the provision, establishment or endowment of a scholarship, exhibition or prize in a university, or an educational institution not operated or conducted for profit;
  7. a public fund established and maintained for the relief of distress among members of the public;
  8. a charitable institution or a body of persons or a trust established for charitable purposes only; or
  9. an organisation not operated or conducted primarily for profit which is engaged in or connected with the promotion of culture or the arts or with the promotion of sports.

Statutory Compliance

On acquiring IPC status, the following compliances must be adhered to. All IPCs must:

  1. issue Tax Deduction Receipts to donors upon receiving tax deductible donations
  2. maintain Donation Records
  3. post financial and non-financial information online
  4. submit audited financial statements
  5. submit an annual return of donations
  6. submit an annual report detailing the use of donation money and proposed future plans
  7. be administered by a group of independent trustees i.e. there must be independent control

Tax deductible donations

Only donations to a charity that is an approved Institution of a Public Character are tax deductible (i.e. donors are given tax deduction for donations made to these organisations). Not all registered charities are approved IPCs. Donations made to a charity without approved IPC status is NOT income tax-deductible.

The following types of donations normally qualify you for a tax deduction:

  • Cash Donations
  • Shares Donations
  • Computer Donations
  • Artefact Donations
  • Public Art Tax Incentive Scheme
  • Land and Building Donations

If the donations or gifts are for a “foreign charitable purpose”, they are not tax deductible even though they are made to an approved Institution of a Public Character (IPC).

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