Blog

October 29, 2014

Industry Canada provides notice of delays in processing corporate documents

If you are submitting corporate documents to Industry Canada then expect delays in processing.   What might have been a 1 week turnaround for a continuance may now be 2 weeks.   This delay is caused by a large number of last minute continunace filings.   However, if you have not filed your continuance documents do not despair - see our note here.

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October 28, 2014

Blumbergs’ Ontario Charity Sector Snapshot 2012

Here is the Blumbergs' Ontario Charity Sector Snapshot 2012.   For those who are interested in the size and scope of the Ontario registered charity sector you may find it interesting.   We have taken a subset of the 2012 T3010 data to look at only registered charities based in Ontario.

October 27, 2014

Julie Guindon v. Her Majesty the Queen to be heard in December 2014 by SCC

The Supreme Court will be hearing the Guindon case in December.  The case deals with the constitutionality of certain penalties that are provided for in the Income Tax Act (Canada).  We have discussed the case in an earlier blog posting.  It will be interesting to see what the Supreme Court of Canada decides in this matter.   Apparently only about 50 such penalties have been imposed by CRA over the last decade but the ability to impose penalties is significant. 

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October 27, 2014

CRA letter on agencies and boards being considered a ‘municipality’ or ‘public body’

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether certain agencies and boards are considered municipalities or municipal or public bodies performing a function of government and therefore exempt from income tax under paragraph 149(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act  (the “Act”). CRA indicated that it was unlikely that the agencies or boards being inquired about would meet the criteria to be considered a municipal or public body performing a function of government.

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October 27, 2014

CRA letter on tax exemptions for fundraising event

CRA recently released a letter which discusses various issues relating to an inquiry as to whether income from a fundraising event would be exempt from tax as a non-profit organization under paragraph 149(1)(l) of the Income Tax Act (the “Act”). CRA had the following comments:

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October 27, 2014

Recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision -Pankerichan v. Djokic

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released a decision, Pankerichan v. Djokic, 2014 ONCA 709, regarding a dispute over the control of church property held in trust under the Religious Organizations' Lands Act or ROLA.  If you are involved in an unincorporated church or religious institution in Ontario you might find this case interesting.   

To access the full decision, please click here.

October 27, 2014

The Commissioner of Competition v. The Toronto Real Estate Board -non-profit abuse of market power

It is common to have a non-profit organization whose members are various business delivering a product or service.  For example, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and others.   In a recent case the Commissioner of Competition v. The Toronto Real Estate Board the Federal Court of Appeal held that the abuse of dominance provisions in the Competition Act are not limited to competitors in a relevant market. Trade associations, large suppliers or customers and other persons with market power can also be found to be engaging in anti-competitive acts, notwithstanding the fact that they do not compete in the relevant market. Persons with influence or control over a market should be careful that their actions do not result in anti-competitive acts that are predatory, exclusionary or disciplinary.

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Topics: News

October 26, 2014

Pre-budget consultations for 2015 budget - a number of submissions relate to charities and NPOs

Blumbergs has provided a submission to the Finance Committee (FINA) entitled Canadians want non-profit transparency and effective charities.

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October 24, 2014

CRA adds “Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation” to list of Canadian qualified donees

Recently the Globe and Mail had a story entitled  “Canada Revenue Agency delists foreign charities”.   CRA has recently added the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation to the "List of registered foreign charitable organizations that have received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada".  So we have gone from no foreign charities on the list to one foreign charity on the list.   The qualified donee status is effective from 2013-11-07 to 2015-11-07.  Canadian donors can gift funds to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation and receive an official donation receipt.  Furthermore, Canadian charities can make gifts to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.    

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October 22, 2014

Terrorist attack in Ottawa - reminder to charities to be vigilant about terrorist abuse

The recent terrorist attacks in Quebec and Ottawa are a reminder of the impact of terrorism.   Canadian charities are an important part of Canadian society and it is important that they protect their employees, volunteers, and other resources from terrorist abuse.   

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October 18, 2014

Charity revoked for issuing inflated receipts as part of publicly traded shares scheme

The CRA announced that it has revoked a charity, Skyway Foundation of Canada, for issuing inflated receipts for donations of marketable securities.   In our Receipting Kit we note: "When a donor donates shares on certain stock exchanges, the CRA has “as a general rule, accepted the use of the closing bid price of the share on the date it is received or the mid-point between the high and the low trading prices for the day, whichever provides the best indicator, given the circumstances, of fair market value on normal and active market trading.” In some cases, such as thinly traded shares, this may not be appropriate."  CRA notes in its press release that "During 2008, a private group of taxpayers engaged in transactions designed to artificially inflate the value of publicly traded shares. These shares were subsequently donated to the Organization which, in turn, issued official donation receipts totaling approximately $2.6 million. Subsequent to the donation, in 2009, these shares lost nearly 95% of their value resulting in a substantial loss to the Organization."  it appears that this revocation was for thinly traded shares that were artificially inflated.

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October 17, 2014

Today is October 17 - the Federal non-profit world has not come to an end!

As many of you know on October 17, 2011, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) came into force.  Canadian non-profits under the Canada Corporations Act (CCA) have 3 years to make the transition.  The bad news first - today is the deadline.  The good news is that about 9000 CCA corporations of 19,000 or so have moved over to the CNCA.  About another 1000 are in the pipeline according to Industry Canada and being processed.  The next bit of good news that you should know is that although the deadline for the transition is October 17, 2014, dissolution is not automatic today and in fact Industry Canada will apparently start very slowly dissolving corporations beginning in November and focusing in on corporations who have not filed their corporate returns for many years.   

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October 15, 2014

Some recent T3010 stats from the Charities Directorate on assets and revenues of Canadian charities

Here is some recent T3010 information from the Charities Directorate showing the assets and revenues of Canadian registered charities in 2011 and 2012.  It is in both English and French.

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October 08, 2014

Taxpayers’ Ombudsman releases major report “Donor Beware” on charity gifting tax shelter schemes

I was delighted to read a publication "Donor Beware: Investigation into the sufficiency of the Canada Revenue Agency's warnings about questionable tax shelter schemes".  The special report was prepared in December 2013 by J. Paul Dubé, the Taxpayers' Ombudsman.  The 39 page report rips into charitable gifting tax shelters.  Although it is generally very positive about the work of CRA in trying to educate taxpayers and denying the tax credits it does make some recommendations for CRA to increase educational efforts to donors on the dangers of these schemes.  I was quite pleasantly surprised that there were a number of references to articles I have written or websites that I edit.

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October 07, 2014

CRA releases updated information on tax shelters

On October 3, 2014, CRA released an updated resource on tax shelter arrangements on the CRA website. This page provides detailed information on what is a tax shelter, provides links to case law dealing with tax shelters, and cautionary steps for individuals considering getting involved in a tax shelter.  

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October 07, 2014

Updates on Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

We have prepared a more detailed article on Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) for Canadian Registered Charities and Non-profit Organizations. CASL is a complicated piece of legislation that applies to CEM that are either sent from, or accessed on, a computer system in Canada, unless an exemption applies.

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October 07, 2014

CRA letter - approved research institute status

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether required changes to a research institute's (the 'Institute') Letters Patent (the charitable purposes and the dissolution clause) in order to obtain status as a registered charity will affect the status of the entity as an approved research institute for purposes of clause 37(1)(a)(ii)(B) of the Income Tax Act. CRA held that there were no changes being made to the activities of the Institute so its status as an approved research institute would not be affected. Here is an excerpt from the CRA letter:

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October 07, 2014

CRA letter - providing loans to charities

CRA recently released a letter which discusses various issues relating to a non-interest bearing loan provided to a charitable foundation. A taxable Canadian corporation provided a loan to a related Foundation (a Canadian registered charity) which did not carry a stipulated rate of interest. The question was whether the Corporation should charge interest at a prescribed rate to the Foundation. It was found that Section 69(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act may deem the holder to acquire the loan at a cost that is less than the principal amount. Here is an excerpt from the letter:

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September 30, 2014

Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the BC Charity Sector 2012

I was asked by a friend in Vancouver to prepare a Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the BC Charity Sector 2012.   Hopefully someone will find it helpful.   

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September 22, 2014

CRA Notices to Registered Charities on CCA/CNCA continuance may or may not be accurate

CRA has been sending out numerous notices with respect to the importance of Canada Corporations Act (CCA) corporations continuing to the new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA).  A number of people have contacted us with respect to the notice.   In some cases the Federal corporations  were established in 2012 or 2013 under the CNCA.   In other words they were never even under the CCA and cannot continue to the CNCA.  Therefore, some of these notices may be sent to corporations that need to make changes, but others may be sent in error.   You can check your status and under which act you are currently under at the Industry Canada website.  It is easy and free.  

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September 22, 2014

Webinars for the Canadian Charity Law Association

The Canadian Charity Law Association will be delivering two webinars, entitled "Should we set up a Canadian Charity and if so how?" on October 21 at 12:00 PM EDT and "Top 10 Charity Law Issues for Canadian Registered Charities" on November 18 at 12:00 PM EDT. Both webinars are free but you will need to register.

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September 18, 2014

Registered Charities and Official Marks - are you really a public authority?

On August 29, 2014, the Federal Court re-affirmed its previous decision that a registered charity, in itself does not constitute a “public authority” for purposes of registering an official mark under the Trade-marks Act.

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September 17, 2014

Webinar “Foreign Activities 101: Introduction to Canadian charities carrying out foreign activities”

I will be delivering a webinar for the Canadian Charity Law Association entitled "Foreign Activities 101: Introduction to Canadian charities carrying out foreign activities".  It is free but you need to register.

Here is a link to the registration page for "Foreign Activities 101: Introduction to Canadian charities carrying out foreign activities".

For other Canadian Charity Law Association webinars see:  http://ow.ly/BCWG0 

September 17, 2014

Warning from RBC that banking services to Federal CCA corporations are “at risk”

I recently saw this notice from RBC to a client of theirs that the registered charity's banking services are at risk if they do not continue to the CNCA.  RBC also wants copies of the continuance documents.  Just a reminder that Federal non-profit corporations under the Canada Corporations Act need to continue to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.

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September 17, 2014

CRA revokes the charitable registration of the Friends and Skills Connection Centre

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has revoked the charitable registration of the Friends and Skills Connection Centre, a charity based in Etobicoke, Ontario. The revocation was effective as of September 13, 2014. According to CRA, the charity was not maintaining adequate books and records, failed to file an accurate T3010 Return, failed to operate within its charitable mandate, and was conducting serious breaches with respect to its receipting practices. Also, one of the directors of the charity was determined by CRA to be an ineligible individual. Here is an excerpt from the notice of intention to revoke letter issued by CRA:

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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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