On 1 January 2012, the Dutch tax-law amendments regarding public service organisations (the Donations Act) entered into force. The intended purpose of the Donations Act is to encourage donations to ANBIs.
Commercial activities are no longer an impediment for obtaining the ANBI status, provided that almost all (i.e. at least 90%) of the income benefits the public service objective of the relevant organisation within a reasonable period of time. It should be noted that income from commercial activities is generally subject to corporation tax.
An ANBI that focuses entirely (or almost entirely) on cultural activities may qualify as a cultural organisation (“CO”). The advantage of obtaining a CO status is the since 1 January 2012 a multiplier applies to donations to such organisations. This deemed deduction entails multiplying donations made to a CO by a factor of 1.25 for income tax purposes. A multiplier also applies for corporation tax purposes, although the factor is increased to 1.50. This means that a larger amount can be deducted than was donated. For both types of tax, the multiplier can be applied to donations of a maximum amount of EUR 5,000. The multiplier cannot be applied to any amount that exceeds this maximum. The multiplier applies to individual donations (deductible for the amount exceeding 1% of total income) and periodic donations (no maximum).
A new type of organisation was introduced on 1 January 2012, the social benefit organisation support foundation (steunstichting sociaal belangen behartigende instelling) (“support SBBI”). A support SBBI is a foundation incorporated for the exclusive purpose of raising money to support a social benefit organisation. Donations to a support SBBI can be deducted for both income and corporation tax purposes, provided that the donations are non-recurring. The above-mentioned multiplier does not apply in this context.
As a consequence of the Donations Act implementing regulations the condition regarding the balance left after liquidation has been amended with retroactive effect to 1 January 2012. The preceding condition required that the rules governing an organisation (e.g. its articles of association, internal regulations or policy plan) stipulated that if the organisation was liquidated, any remaining balance had to be spent in such way that it would serve the public interest, or that the balance left would accrue to another ANBI. According to the current condition a post-liquidation balance may only accrue to another ANBI with a similar objective. To avoid that organisations must amend the rules that govern them immediately to reflect the new legislation, the latter provides that this amendment can be made when an organisation next amends its rules.