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May 22, 2016

Industry Canada sends out thousands of final notices of pending dissolution to Federal CCA NPOs

Industry Canada has sent out notices to thousands of Canada Corporations Act (CCA) corporations warning them of their pending dissolution as they have failed to transition to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”). Industry Canada wants to wind down the CCA and in order to do so they need to remove all remaining corporations under the CCA.  It appears that up to 2000 of such corporations may be registered charities.  Industry Canada had generally held off sending the notices to registered charities but the transition deadline of October 2014 is now over 1.5 years old.  

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May 22, 2016

Another poorly thought through Canadian private members bill that affects the charity sector

A Canadian private members bill, introduced by MP Ted Falk, would change the tax credit for donations to charities.  It is called the Fairness in Charitable Gifts Act- Bill C-239.  Malcolm Burrows recently wrote a very useful critique of this poorly thought through piece of legislation. Essentially the idea behind the proposal is to match the incentive for charitable donations to those offered for political donations.  However, unlike political donations which have very low caps and therefore the tax benefits are very limited, there will be no limit on the tax benefits that donors to charities receive under this bill. 

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May 18, 2016

CRA information on assisting people and charities impacted by the wildfires in Alberta

The Canada Revenue Agency ('CRA') recently published a Question and Answer piece on its website which provides information on providing assistance to people impacted by the wildfires in Alberta and information for registered charities that may have been impacted by the wildfires or would like to provide assistance.  Here is the CRA link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/whtsnw/frtmcmrry-qstns-nswrs-eng.html?utm_source=charities&utm_medium=eml

May 10, 2016

CRA letter on tribal council qualifying as a public body performing a function of government

CRA recently released a letter which considers whether a Tribal Council should be considered a public body performing a function of government within the meaning of paragraph 149(1)(c).  

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May 10, 2016

Application for leave to appeal denied by SCC in Ray Castro v. Her Majesty the Queen

We have previously blogged about the decision of the Tax Court of Canada in David, R. et al. v. the Queen (TCC) (herehere and here).  In the previous decision of Canada v. Castro, 2015 FCA 225, the Minister appealed the decision in David v. The Queen by asserting that the Tax Court of Canada erred in law.

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May 06, 2016

Charity Commission reports on funding non-charities by Joseph Rowntree Trust and Roddick Foundation

The Charity Commission of England and Wales has  released two very interersting regulatory case reports including the Regulatory Case Report -  The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust  and Regulatory Case Report -The Roddick Foundation.  These reports are interesting in that they discuss grants from UK charities to non-charities and the necessary steps a charity should take to ensure that their funds are appropriately used.

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May 04, 2016

New CRA guidance on low-cost housing corporations for the aged seeking QD status

CRA recently released a new guidance which provides information for low-cost housing corporations for the aged which are interested in becoming Qualified Donees.  The guidance replaces the Income Tax Rulings Directorate letter dated March 18, 2013.  

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May 03, 2016

Top Fallacies about Private Foundations in Canada

Here is a recent article written by Mark Blumberg, Kate Robertson and Lynn Gluckman of Blumberg Segal LLP on the Top Fallacies about private foundations in Canada.  The article discusses incorrect misconceptions that many people have about private foundations.  This article was also published as a two-part series by the Hillborn Charity eNews on April 19th, 2016 and April 26, 2016.   

April 28, 2016

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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April 27, 2016

Top Fallacies about Private Foundations in Canada - Part two

The Hillborn Charity eNews just published the second part of our article Top fallacies about private foundations in Canada.  It discusses numerous incorrect preconceptions that people have about private foundations.  

April 27, 2016

CRA notice for 2015 T3010 filings to add question related to partnership holdings

CRA has been sending out notices relating to the 2015 T3010 Registered Charity Information Return asking that a one page form entitled "New Reporting Requirement" be added to a registered charity's 2015 T3010 filing.  The notice essentially asks the question "Did the charity have direct partnership holdings at any time during the fiscal period?" and CRA has already included that question in the 2016 T3010 under question C15 but it was not included in the 2015 T3010. 

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April 25, 2016

High Court rules Cup Trust Gift Aid claim can be withdrawn

In the Cup Trust case there was an abusive scheme run by a charity and controlled by a trustee, Mountstar.  The Mountstar trustee was replaced by an interim manager appointed to take over the affairs of the charity.  The interim manager decided that they did not want to pursue litigation relating to a Gift Aid claim.  The organizers of the scheme (Mountstar) wanted the charity to continue litigation and were prepared to pay for its costs.  The High Court in the UK decided that charities should not be involved in speculative litigation and that it was acceptable for the interim manager to withdraw the Gift Aid claim.  

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April 23, 2016

Financial Action Task Force consultation on Recommendation 8 and preventing NPO terrorist abuse

Topics: News | Global Giving

April 23, 2016

Top fallacies about private foundations in Canada – Part one

The Hillborn Charity eNews just published the first part of our article Top fallacies about private foundations in Canada.  It discusses numerous incorrect preconceptions that people have about private foundations.  

April 21, 2016

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2016 - save the date!

The Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Institute 2016 will be held on Friday October 28, 2016 at Oakham House in Toronto.  Agenda and registration information to follow.  

April 18, 2016

Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement limited partnership investments

The Department of Finance has released the "Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2016 and other measures and Explanatory Notes".  Of particular interest to some within the charitable sector is the Department of Finance changing the ITA to allow private foundations and other registered charities to invest in limited partnerships as of April 2015. 

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April 17, 2016

CRA revoking charities that are dissolved - is your charity active or dissolved?

I recently reviewed the CRA Charities Listing.  It appears that 62 charities have been revoked by CRA over the past 4 years purely because they had been dissolved under their corporate legislation.  The search is for "Revoked - Other" on the CRA database.  Although CRA presumably gave notice to these groups that they need to obtain revivals of their corporate status it seems that these groups did not undertake that process.  What we can learn from this is that you can lose your charity status if your charity is a corporation and it is dissolved.  You should check whether your charity is dissolved or active.  

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April 17, 2016

Comparison of registered charity applications in Canada and US 501(c)3 applications

The Chronicle of Philanthropy had an article entitled "Fewer Groups Got Charity Status in 2015, but Numbers Still High".  It notes a slight reduction in 501(c)3 tax-exempt applications in 2015 of only 86,915.  This was in part because of a controversial move by the IRS to introduce a simple 1023-EZ form for groups with annual revenue of under $50,000.  The 1023-EZ is a 3 page long electronic form and since its introduction there has been an almost doubling of applications.  By the way the number of new US charities last year is equal to the total number of Canadian registered charities! With over 1.2 million 501(c)3s the US has about 50% more registered 501(c)3s per capita than Canada.  

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Topics: News

April 15, 2016

Tax agency gives senators information on groups that lost charitable status for supporting terrorism

The Canadian Press has an article by Jim Bronskill entitled "Tax agency gives senators information on groups that lost charitable status".  It focuses on the issue of terrorism and the extent to which the CRA can divulge to parliamentarians information on groups that are alleged to have been involved with terrorist activities and have either lost their charitable status or are still operating.  What was most interesting about the article seems to be that the material the Senators were asking for and took almost a year to receive were easily available on our www.globalphilanthropy.ca website.  I am starting to wonder whether the involvement of the Senate defence and security committee is of any real utility.  They seem to know little about the charity sector and even less about the regulation of charities.  I have already covered an extremely poorly written report on terrorism from this committee.

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Topics: News

April 15, 2016

Strengthening Foundation Governance: Current Issues, Challenges and Solutions

April 14, 2016

Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Canadian Charity Sector 2014

We have just released the Blumbergs' Snapshot of the Canadian Charity Sector 2014 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project.  This is the fifth snapshot provided by Blumbergs of the Canadian charity sector. The database covers about 84,500 of the 86,000 registered charities in Canada that had filed their T3010 for the 2014 year and were processed into CRA’s Charity Listing database by February 2016. 

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April 13, 2016

Canadian registered charities no longer required to register as a charity in Quebec

As a result of the 2016 Quebec Budget, Canadian registered charities are no longer required to complete a separate charitable registration in Quebec in order to be able to issue tax receipts to donors in Quebec.

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April 12, 2016

Latest update on CNCA continuances and dissolutions from Corporations Canada

We recently contacted Corporations Canada regarding the updated statistics on continuances and dissolutions under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act ('CNCA').  Apparently in March there has been an increasing number of entities that have transitioned to the CNCA.  Here are the current figures: 

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April 12, 2016

NATOA Indigenous Trust and Investment Conference - Toronto

Brad Offman and Mark Blumberg will be presenting at the NATOA Indigenous Trust and Investment Conference on May 31, 2016 on the topic of "Philanthropy and Charitable Status for First Nations".

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Topics: News

April 11, 2016

The Non-Profit Organization Risk Identification Project (NPORIP) Report - finally released

In June 2014, which is almost 2 years ago, I put in a request to CRA to receive a copy of certain information on the Non-Profit Organization Risk Identification Project (NPORIP).  On April 11, 2016, I received over 220 pages of documents from CRA on the NPORIP.  The NPORIP was a major initiative by the Federal government to look at the approximately 80,000 -100,000 organizations that are non-profits but not registered charities.  As they say better late than never.   

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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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