Canadian Charity Law

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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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2011 Federal Budget - What’s new for Canadian Registered Charities

I had the privilege today of attending the Budget 2011 Stakeholders Lock-up.  Here are the parts of the budget that relate to registered charities and other qualified donees.   Also below are some of the highlights of the budget.

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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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Bequests - Avoiding problems with the ultimate planned gift

Here is a copy of my article ‘Bequests - Avoiding problems with the ultimate planned gift’ which was presented at a recent Ontario Bar Association Conference.

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Bequests in Canada: 16 Steps to Creating a Planned Giving Program

Here is a copy of a presentation I recently delivered on promoting bequests to charities.  As charities seek to diversify or increase revenue, bequests become an even more important potential source.  It covers some of the advantages and disadvantages with using bequests, whether an organization should create a bequest program, 16 steps to setting up a planned giving program that emphasizes bequests, as well as legal, ethical, and practical issues to keep in mind.

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Blumbergs 2013 Receipting Kit for Canadian Registered Charities

Here is the Blumbergs’ 2013 Receipting Kit.

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Blumbergs submission on the importance of transparency to the charity and non-profit sector

Canadians want charitable donations to benefit legitimate charities

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Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2011

We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2011 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project.  We provided an overview of the whole charity sector in the Blumbergs’ Charity Sector Snapshot 2011.  We have taken a subset of the 2011 T3010 data to look at only registered charities based in Ontario.  This article provides a snapshot of the registered charity sector in Ontario based on the 2011 T3010 filings.  Here is a PDF of the Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2011.

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Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) Suitcase

The new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) came into force October 17, 2011.  Federal non-profits have until October 17, 2014 to continue under the new act of face possible dissolution.  Industry Canada has placed hundreds of pages of information on the new act on their website in over 70 different documents.  We have tried to accumulate the information in one PDF document which is now over 500 pages.  For up to date information check the Industry Canada website.  We have also included for registered charities information from the Charities Directorate of CRA.  This document may be helpful because it is easier to save a PDF to your computer or laptop especially if you will not have internet connectivity.  Furthermore, one can word search (usually Control F) for words through the document.  This document is not comprehensive and in the future we may update it.

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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 Foreign Activities - A presentation on the subject

Here is a copy of my presentation on the legal requirements for Canadian charities operating abroad. The presentation discussed CRA positions and documents, case law, and various other legal, practical and ethical issues that a Canadian charity may face.

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Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities - by Mark Blumberg in The Philanthropist

Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities -This article published in The Philanthropist describes the permissible structured relationships and agreements, review a number of cases dealing with Canadian charities operating abroad, and highlight some of the challenges facing Canadian charities that have foreign activities.

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Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities by Mark Blumberg (October 2007 Article)

This 29 page article will attempt to assist Canadian charities who are conducting or interested in conducting programs outside of Canada with some of the legal issues that they may face. It will discuss the statutory and regulatory framework for Canadian charities operating abroad, describe the permissible structured relationships and agreements; review a number of cases dealing with Canadian charities operating abroad and highlight some challenges facing Canadian charities that have foreign activities.  Canadian charities need to be aware of the rules that govern their foreign activities, some of which are contained in RC4106 (Registered Charities: Operating Outside Canada),  in order to comply with Canada Revenue Agency requirements and to avoid deregistration, intermediate sanctions, negative publicity etc. 

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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 Charities Maintaining Direction and Control and Avoiding Being a Conduit

Canadian charities generally cannot just gift funds to foreign charities.  This article discusses appropriate direction and control over foreign activities and projects by Canadian charities.

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Canadian Charities Operating Abroad - Presentation to the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto

In this presentation I provide an overview of issues for Canadian charities operating abroad especially Jewish charities interested in operating in Israel, the US and the rest of the world.  I specifically discuss certain issues with respect to Israel and I also provide a list of all Canadian charities that identify themselves as operating in Israel or the Middle East.  The presentation also includes a list of “Jewish/Israeli” charities that operate outside of Canada ordered by the amount of the contributions over that they spend outside of Canada.

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Canadian Charities Working with Other Organizations that are not Registered Charities

In this article I discuss how Canadian charities can work with other Canadian or International Organizations that are not registered Canadian charities as long as they maintain direction and control of the Canadian resources.

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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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Canadian Non Profit and Charity Legal Audits: Forget about It!

Increased media, donor and regulatory scrutiny has resulted in more charities conducting informal legal audits to prevent problems, rather than reacting to them.

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Canadian Private and Public Foundations and International Activities

Here is my article on Canadian Private and Public Foundations and International Activities.  In this article I suggest 4 ways that Canadian Private and Public Foundations can carry on foreign charitable activities outside of Canada or assist with humanitarian relief or international development.

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Canadian Sanctions and Canadian charities operating in Zimbabwe: Be Very Careful!

Canadian charities operating in Zimbabwe need to be extremely careful.  It is not the place for a new and inexperienced charity to begin foreign operations.  In fact, only Canadian charities with substantial experience in difficult international operations should even consider operating in Zimbabwe.  It is one of the most difficult countries to carry out charitable operations by virtue of the very difficult political, security, human rights and economic situation and the resultant Canadian and international sanctions.  This article will set out some information on the Zimbabwe Sanctions including the full text of the Act and Regulations governing the sanctions.

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Cases Involving Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities

Here is the full text of certain recent Canadian cases decided in the last few years that should be of particular interest to Canadian charities that operate outside of Canada.  The 3 Federal Court of Appeal cases, namely the Tel-Aviv Foundation case, The Magen David Adom case and the Bayit Leplitot case, all deal with Canadian charities conducting foreign activities.

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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