Blog

May 29, 2017

CRA to make automated calls to Canadian registered charities to file their T3010

The CRA has announced that it will make automated calls to Canadian registered charities to remind them to file their T3010 Registered Charity Information Return.  That is a positive step in using technology to remind charities of their filing obligations.  

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May 28, 2017

Charities, Regulation and Donors - some international perspectives from the CCLA

The Canadian Charity Law Association (CCLA) is pleased to present: Charities, Regulation and Donors - some international perspectives on June 22, 2017 at 8:30AM in Toronto.  The 1/2 day program will cover 4 thought provoking topics (see bios below) and have two excellent international guests.  The room can only hold 33 people so if you are interested book quickly.

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May 28, 2017

More online filing options for CNCA -adding articles of amendment

The Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act ("CNCA") which came into force in 2014 has generally been considered to be an excellent act to incorporate or continue non-profit corporations in Canada.   Unlike the US where there are state non-profit acts, but not a federal act, in Canada you have the choice of provincial or federal incorporation.  The CNCA has a robust electronic filing system that allowed filings for incorporation, filing annual returns, pre-approving corporate names, changing director information, changing registered office information, and filing financial statements.   

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May 28, 2017

Ploughman v. The Queen, 2017 TCC 64

The recent decision of Ploughman v. The Queen, 2017 TCC 64 deals with a "third-party civil penalty" against Mr. Ploughman for his involvement in what CRA refers to as "abusive charity gifting tax shelter" but this decision refers to as a "donation program".  The court dealt with an appeal of the assessment of the third-party civil penalty and rejected Mr. Ploughman's appeal.

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May 28, 2017

Recent letters released by the Canada Revenue Agency

We have provided two letters recently released by the Canada Revenue Agency. The first letter from CRA discusses the income tax treatment of payments made by a church to a Syrian refugee family. The second letter from CRA discusses whether a registered charity can return a gift of a life insurance policy to a donor and if so, what are the tax consequences to the registered charity and to the donor.

May 28, 2017

CharityVillage webinar Charitable Receipting: Do’s and don’ts for Canadian registered charities

I recently delivered a webinar to CharityVillage on Charitable Receipting: Do’s and don’ts for Canadian registered charities.  If you are interested in seeing the slides or listening to the webinar you can do so at Charitable Receipting: Do’s and don’ts for Canadian registered charities

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May 28, 2017

Some recent blogs on charities and political activities by Mark Blumberg

Here is a note I prepared called Some recent blogs on charities and political activities by Mark Blumberg.  Yes I know the title is very original.  I came up with it myself.    

May 27, 2017

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2017 - save the date!

We are pleased to announce the Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Institute 2017 will be on Monday October 16, 2017. Further details will follow.  Registration and early bird information is here.  

May 22, 2017

CRA welcomes the Panel Report on the public consultations on charities and political activities

In a press release entitled "Minister Lebouthillier welcomes the Panel Report on the public consultations on charities and political activities" CRA noted the receipt of a report on charities and political activities.  That report was reflective of the vast majority of the "nearly 20,000" submissions received as part of the consultation.   

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May 19, 2017

Charitable Receipting: Do’s and don’ts for Canadian registered charities with CharityVillage

On May 25, 2017, I will be doing a free webinar for CharityVillage on Charitable Receipting Do's and Don'ts which will discuss receipting by Canadian registered charities.

May 09, 2017

Presentation on community foundations and political activities in Ottawa - May 13, 2017

Mark Blumberg will be co-presenting on "How community foundations can lead and engage in small ‘a’ advocacy" in Ottawa at the Community Foundations of Canada 2017 Conference on Saturday May 13, 2017.

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May 09, 2017

Upcoming Webinars for the Canadian Charity Law Association

The Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars.  Registration is free but space is limited. 

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May 08, 2017

“Second Thoughts: Why I Changed My Mind About Philanthropy and Public Policy” by David Callahan

David Callahan, is the editor of Inside Philanthropy, and he is one the top progressive experts on philanthropy in the US.  His article "Second Thoughts: Why I Changed My Mind About Philanthropy and Public Policy" has nothing to do with Canada - but it has everything to do with the dilemma that the Liberal government is going to be dealing with over the next year or two as to how much "political activities" is too much for charities.  I would argue that the current rules give lots and lots of room to charities to conduct political activities - but yes not enough for maybe 50-100 groups.   At what point do we prioritize the sector over those groups?  

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April 27, 2017

Recent letters released by Canada Revenue Agency

We have provided two letters recently released by the Canada Revenue Agency. 

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April 23, 2017

Which Canadian registered charities spent the most on foreign activities in 2015?

April 22, 2017

CRA recently revokes registered charity status of 2 large religious groups doing foreign activities

On the CRA database it has become apparent that CRA has recently revoked the charitable status of two religious organizations that conduct significant foreign activities.  We have put in a request to CRA for information on why they were revoked. Unfortunately under the current rules even if CRA is aware of a problem with a charity it can only advise the public AFTER formal revocation has taken place.  So the details available at this point are very sparse.  

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April 14, 2017

Seven Key Tasks of Hospital Foundation Boards by Mark Blumberg

Here is an article that I wrote for the Ontario Hospital Association entitled Seven Key Tasks of Hospital Foundation Boards.

April 14, 2017

How to search CRA’s database for revoked charities

Many people know that CRA has a publicly accessible database of Canadian registered charities.  They may also be aware, that if you are in the database, you are registered charity.  There are many benefits of being a registered charity including the ability to issue official donation receipts and to receive gifts from other registered charities.   But, did you know that there are approximately 38,299 former registered charities that you can search as well?  Some of these former charities have lost their charitable status for non-filing or even voluntarily requesting the loss of status.  The status of others were revoked for significant transgressions, such as issuing $600m in questionable receipts!  There is quite a continuum here.  Everything from absolutely no problem but the volunteers are tired to high questionable conduct.

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Topics: News

April 11, 2017

Carleton MPNL PhilanthroTHINK: The Future of Charity Regulation on April 28, 2017 in Ottawa

Carleton University has a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL).  They do some very interesting programs relating to the non-profit and charity sector.  On April 28, 2017 they will be holding a one day program entitled The Future of Charity Regulation: Lessons from International Experience.  You can find out more information here.

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April 07, 2017

Wallace Global Fund charity fires lawyers for being inconsistent with their values

Here is an interesting article from the NPQ entitled "Wallace Global Fund Fires Law Firm for Aiding Trump’s “Ethical Carnage”. It discusses how a large US charity has decided to sever a long term relationship with a major US law firm because they represent Donald Trump and blessed the highly questionable trust arrangement that Donald Trump is using to ostensibly avoid conflicts of interest while he is President of the US.

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April 02, 2017

Universities and Colleges fundraising in Canada - a great mechanism to fundraise effectively

Canada has a mechanism to recognize certain foreign universities for purposes of donations.  It is probably the most generous tax incentive system of any country in the world.   Essentially if you are a degree granting university outside of Canada and you have 2 Canadian students generally studying at your university/college then you can apply to get on a list maintained by the Canada Revenue Agency.   Once you are on the list you are considered to be a "qualified donee".  That means you can issue Canadian official donation receipts under the Income Tax Act  (Canada).  WIth such status a Canadian who donates to your prescibed foreign university obtains the same benefits - of between 40 - 70% as if they had donated to a Canadian university.

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March 30, 2017

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2015

We have just released our Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2015. Lots of interesting statistics and information on the Canadian charity sector.  As well if you want information on individual charities or want to sort charities based on about 20 criteria checkout our charity data site at www.charitydata.ca

March 30, 2017

Guidance for Professional Athletes considering Philanthropy in Canada - Part 2

Kate Robertson and Mark Blumberg recently prepared Part 2 of the article series, Guidance for Professional Athletes considering Philanthropy in Canada. This article provides suggestions and tips for professional athletes (and their trusted advisors) with respect to estabishing and operating a successful Canadian registered charity.

March 29, 2017

Mark Blumberg to attend Governor General’s Conference Giving: Working Together for the Common Good

His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, is organizing a conference in Ottawa in late April entitled Giving: Working Together for the Common Good. I look forward to attending with others who are interested in the topic such as "State of the Nation on Giving" and "Millennials, Values and Giving Behaviour".

Topics: News

March 29, 2017

Fed up with ONCA yet? Consider skipping it altogether and moving to the Federal CNCA

For Ontario non-profit corporations the next few years will be challenging from a corporate law point of view. Here is our article "Fed up with ONCA yet? Consider skipping it altogether and moving to the Federal CNCA".

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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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