Avoiding Canadian 'Charity' Scams

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2011 Budget and new “ineligible individual” category: How this can affect your Canadian registered

Here is my article Budget 2011 and new “ineligible individual” category: How this can affect your Canadian registered charity.

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2012 Canadian Federal Budget - March 29, 2012 and its impact on charities

On March 29, 2012 Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released the Federal Budget at approximately 4PM.  There are about 10 pages of information dealing with charities in the almost 500 page document.  Here are the pieces of the 2012 Canadian Federal Budget that affect the Canadian charitable sector.

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2013 Canadian Federal Budget and its impact on charities

On March 21, 2013 at 4pm, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered the 2013 Canadian federal budget. There were a number of interesting proposals relating to charities.  Some of the highlights include a new temporary First-Time Donor’s Super Credit (FDSC) designed to encourage new donors to give to charity.  “The FDSC will increase the value of the federal Charitable Donations Tax Credit by 25 percentage points if neither the taxpayer nor their spouse has claimed the credit since 2007”  Flaherty has ignored many suggestions for increased tax incentives that would have been expensive and disproportionately benefitted the rich such as the elimination of capital gains on donations of land or private shares.

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2014 Federal Budget and its Impact on Canadian Charities

Today Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced the Canadian Federal Budget 2014.  The budget had a large number of provisions dealing with non-profits and charities. Here are some excerpts from the Federal Budget in one PDF document.    Overall I was very pleased with the provisions of the budget dealing with charities.

Abusive Canadian Charity Tax Shelter Schemes

This article discusses certain ‘charitable’ gifting schemes which threaten to undermine the public and regulators confidence in the charitable sector. This article also discusses a plan to deal with this problem.

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Blumbergs 2013 Receipting Kit for Canadian Registered Charities

Here is the Blumbergs’ 2013 Receipting Kit.

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Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Audits and Canadian Registered Charities

This article provides information and suggestions as to how a Canadian charity should, and should not, deal with CRA audits.  It also discusses possible CRA responses and the likelihood of each response. 

If you are being audited by the Charities Directorate of CRA you may find my article useful.

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Canadian Charities and Terrorism: Preventing Abuse of Your Favourite Canadian Charity

Charities, by virtue of their reputation and access to resources, in some cases make a tempting target for terrorists who are trying to acquire funds and/or legitimacy. Canadian charities need to be diligent in ensuring that their resources are used appropriately and not diverted to non-charitable uses, including terrorism. This article provides some basic guidance as to steps a Canadian charity can take to avoid having their resources misappropriated for terrorism or other inappropriate uses such as fraud.

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Canadian Charity Law Checklist by Mark Blumberg with compliance issues for Canadian charities

Here is a revised version of the Canadian Charity Law Checklist by Mark Blumberg.  In addition to reminding charities of questions to ask, it also provides links to relevant resources.

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Charities Directorate presentation “Major Non-Compliance Issues” by Canadian registered charities

Here is a copy of the powerpoint slides from a presentation delivered by Danie Huppé-Cranford to the International Committee on Fundraising Organizations (ICFO) Annual General Meeting, May 14, 2010 entitled “Compliance Overview - Major Non-Compliance Issues”.

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CRA Fundraising Consultation - One giant leap forward in guidance for Canadian registered charities

In April 2008, CRA released a Consultation on proposed policy regarding fundraising by Registered Charities (RC4456-e) (“Fundraising Consultation”).  This document is a relatively short six page overview, and CRA has recently provided charities with a more detailed document entitled “Background information for proposed policy on fundraising by Registered Charities” which is 29 pages (“Background Document”).  The background document provides greater detail, further definitions of terminology and CRA’s positions on various points.  In this article I will discuss the content of the Fundraising Consultation and Background Document, discuss and analyze the criticisms from others of these documents, and provide my own comments.

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How Much Should A Canadian Charity Spend on Overhead - an article by Mark Blumberg

Canadians are increasingly asking “How Much Should A Canadian Charity Spend on Overhead?”  Is this the right question?
Here is my June 2010 article on the subject which was just published in the Canadian Donor’s Guide: view PDF

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Is it legal and ethical to take over a dormant Canadian charity? - my Charity Village article

Here is an article I wrote for Charity Village entitled “Is it legal and ethical to take over a dormant Canadian charity?”

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Offshore Tax Havens, Harmful Tax Competition and International Development

Offshore tax havens are very detrimental to the Canadian tax base and under cut our social programs.  However, the effect of offshore tax havens on the developing world is far more devastating.  I was reading a very good article by Peter Gillespie of the Canadian charity Inter Pares called “Going Offshore”.  It reminded me that a long time ago I wrote a paper on offshore tax havens (THE OECD’S REPORT ON HARMFUL TAX COMPETITION: Is ‘Harmful Tax Competition’ Actually Harmful?) in which I look at the defenders of tax havens and apologists for the wealthy not paying their fair share and refute the arguments that they make. 

If you are interested in understanding the international development issues relating to tax havens and tax avoidance there is The Tax Justice Network (TJN) which is an international, non-aligned coalition of researchers and activists with a shared concern about the harmful impacts of tax avoidance, tax competition and tax havens. They have a website at:  www.taxjustice.net

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Ten Most Useful Features of the Canada Revenue Agency’s Charities Directorate Website

The title is self-explanatory.  CRA’s website is a valuable resource for anyone involved with charities.  As a charity lawyer I am at the website daily and encourage others to make use of the material and information. Here are my thoughts on the Ten Most Useful Features of the Canada Revenue Agency’s Charities Directorate Website

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Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities by Mark Blumberg

89% of charities issue inappropriate receipts according to statistics from the CRA when they audit charities.  Other than non-filing the T3010 this is the greatest reason that charities face revocation.  Here is my paper that I delivered to the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) Institute 2011 entitled Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities.

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Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities by Mark Blumberg for the OBA Institute

Here is a copy of my paper delivered at the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) Institute 2011 entitled Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities.  I was delighted to be co-chairing the program and that there were 90 lawyers out for the sessions.

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Top Ten Canadian Charity Law Issues by Mark Blumberg

So much is written about legal issues relating to charities in Canada. In this article I try to distill the ten most important things you need to know about charity law in Canada.

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Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?

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Charity Lawyer Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.

mark@blumbergs.ca
416.361.1982
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