Blog

April 18, 2011

Update on the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations (CNCA) and when it will come into force

The update on the CNCA is that there is no update.  On February 16, 2011 Marcie Girouard, Director General of Corporations Canada, and Coleen Kirby, Manager of the Policy Section, spoke in Toronto about the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations (CNCA).  Coleen advised that it was expected that the CNCA would come into effect in late Spring but if there was an election that her estimate is that it would take about another 3 extra months. She made it clear that it was up to the cabinet, and not her as to timing.  If the end of Spring is late May, then late August is the best guess at that point as to when the CNCA would come into force.

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April 13, 2011

CRA letter on public foundation borrowing money to pay for equipment for charitable activities

Here is a on whether a Canadian registered charity that is a public foundation can borrow money to pay for equipment to be used in charitable activities
CRA advanced tax ruling in French

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April 11, 2011

International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy Canada (IRFAN-Canada) has status revoked

The International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy Canada (IRFAN-Canada) has had its registered charity status revoked for failing to keep adequate books and records of its foreign activities.  They had their receipting privileges suspended last year because according to CRA they “Failed to maintain books and records in Canada in accordance with subsection 230(2), to provide records for audit in accordance with subsection 231.1(1), and to comply with a Requirement to provide documents in accordance with subsection 231.2(1)”.  Well it appears that there may have been more here than just sloppy record keeping.  According to CRA’s lengthy letter “IRFAN-Canada also transferred gifts-in-kind to non-qualified donees valued at more than $17 million. ... We have been able to establish that $13 million transferred to other organizations in the form of gifts-in-kind was provided to organizations which we have been able to document from public records as having ties to Hamas.”  Here are the CRA documents to IRFAN-Canada including various schedules:

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April 04, 2011

Leave a Legacy Community Outreach Program -“You Don’t Need to be Rich to be a Philanthropist”

I will be co-presenting for Canadian Association of Gift Planners Greater Toronto Area RoundTable on June 13th at 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. on “You Don’t Need to be Rich to be a Philanthropist: Making an impact with your charitable giving” at the Toronto Reference Library.

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April 04, 2011

Foreign Activities by Canadian Charities - Free Archived Webinars from CLIP and Mark Blumberg

Here are some free archived webinars - each approximately 1 hour in length on Canadian charities and foreign activities.  If your charity conducts foreign activities these webinars will help in understanding some of the compliance issues.

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April 03, 2011

The Canadian Institute’s Advanced Forum on Government Relations and Lobbying - Mark will present

I will be presenting to The Canadian Institute’s Advanced Forum on Government Relations and Lobbying a presentation on “Charities and Lobbying: Ensuring the Sector’s Views are Heard on Funding and Policy” on June 8, 2011.  This is a two day Forum on GR and Lobbying.

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March 30, 2011

CLIP Canadian charity law, governance, financial controls and fundraising videos available on Vimeo

The Charity Law Information program has posted various videos at http://www.vimeo.com/charitylaw These videos came from a conference entitled “Being Good and Doing Good” which was held in Toronto in 2010.

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March 28, 2011

CRA wins motions on Operation Save Canada Teenagers and Revival Time Ministries International

Operation Save Canada Teenagers and Revival Time Ministries International were revoked by CRA for improper receipting, falsifying bank statements and other assorted problems.  Attempts to appeal by Reverend Daniel Mokwe failed.

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March 28, 2011

Bill C-470 dealing with charity compensation disclosure dies on the order paper with election call

I have been blogging about C-470 since March of 2010 with many concerns about the process in which the bill was forwarded and the content of the bill.  When this current election was called C-470 died on the order paper.  Here is a note from AFP on C-470 and the National Philanthropy Day legislation. It is important that there is good transparency in the charitable sector - the sector definitely needs to grapple with this issue, preferably in concert with CRA but having members of parliament determine the content of a form (ie. the T3010), a form for which they don’t even know its name, is not a good way to prioritize their time.  There is already quite a bit of disclosure on compensation in the T3010.  As I discussed in my original blog there are a number of areas that require greater disclosure, which was to some extent dealt with in the proposed 2011 Budget.

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March 26, 2011

Canadian Election 2011 - will there be an effect on Canadian registered charities

Like many Canadians I will be watching the election.  I will be blogging on whether there are implications for the charitable sector and whether any of the parties have anything particularly interesting to say about the charitable sector.  Also, a quick reminder to registered charities, that they cannot be involved with partisan political activities and there are restrictions on the scope and resources that registered charities can use on political activities.  Here is an article on legal requirements for Canadian charities wanting to conduct political activities in the 2011 Canadian Federal Election.

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March 26, 2011

New York Times discusses Madonna and Kabbalah Centre debacle in Malawi

The New York Times, in an article entitled “Madonna’s Charity Fails in Bid to Finance School”, discusses how Madonna has abandoned her efforts to build an expensive school in Malawi after investing 4 million in the prepatory work to the project.

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March 25, 2011

Tax rule changes in budget take charities by surprise - Globe and Mail

Here is an article entitled “Tax rule changes take charities by surprise” at the Globe and Mail.

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March 24, 2011

CRA webinar on “Non-compliance issues and how to avoid them” - April 27, 2011

CRA announced today that “The registration for the April 27, 2011, Charities Information Webinar is now open. This webinar will be on Non-compliance issues and how to avoid them.”

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March 23, 2011

Regina v. Blake Bromley, Blake Bromely Consulting Inc., & QDDQ Services Inc. - interesting old case

In this 2004 case a BC lawyer is charged with 23 counts of tax evasion and making false or deceptive statements with respect to certain income tax returns and a complicated transaction involving charities.  In this decision of the Provincial Court the lawyer is acquitted of all charges.  The case raises a number of significant legal and ethical issues and anyone interested in planned giving or being a professional advisor advising charities should be aware of the case.

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March 22, 2011

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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March 21, 2011

CRA letter on naming rights for business donation and whether advantage for split receipting rules

Here is a CRA letter on whether naming rights for provided to a business that made a donation to a registered charity is an advantage under split receipting rules.  In other words if a business has a naming opportunity is there a value/advantage in that naming opportunity such that the Canadian charity must reduce the value of the gift when determining the “eligible amount of the gift” for Income Tax Act purposes?

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March 21, 2011

CRA letter on clergy residence deduction confirms availability in particular case

Here is a recent CRA letter on the clergy residence deduction which confirms in this particular case of an ordained minister working as a chaplain/spiritual care coordinator in a long term care facility that he is qualified for the clergy residence deduction under the Income Tax Act.

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March 21, 2011

Alberta government budget warns taxpayers to beware of charitable donation schemes

The 2011 Alberta budget has a section in it warning Albertans about abusive charitable gifting schemes that offer a person tax savings that are greater than the “investment” by the taxpayer.  The government is very direct and describes these as “illegal charitable donation “programs” or “tax planning arrangements”.”

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March 21, 2011

CIVICUS World Assembly 2011 in Montreal - worldwide gathering of NGOS in Canada

The Civicus World Assembly 2011 will be held in Montreal around September 8-12, 2012.  This is a great worldwide gathering of NGOs.  For those interested in development as well as civil society this is a great conference to network and learn and also a great value in terms of cost.  Here is further information is the flyer in English, French and Spanish.

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March 21, 2011

Fraser Milner Casgrain sued again in class action lawsuit on charity donation tax shelter scheme

The National Post reported that “Law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP and accounting firm BDO Dunwoody LLP are among several defendants named in a proposed class action that seeks more than $300-million in damages due to a failed donation tax shelter.” I think this is the 4th time that a major Canadian law firm has been sued as part of a class action lawsuit.

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March 20, 2011

What is a Related Business?  - free webinar with 2 accountants from KPMG

Charitable organizations that conduct some commercial activities should consider whether these activities meet the CRA’s guidelines on what is a related business. Failure to meet those guidelines could result in the assessment of penalties and even in a revocation of the charity’s registered status. Join Loris Giusto and James Johnston of KPMG as they discuss “what is a related business? The free webinar from CLIP will be on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 12PM EST and you can register at: https://ocsa.webex.com/ocsa/k2/j.php?ED=143668387&UID=961599277&RT=NCMxMQ%3D%3D&FM=1

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March 19, 2011

CRA updates sections of website dealing with educational resources for Canadian registered charities

The CRA has updated its section “Webinars, Information Sessions, and other news” of the Charities and Giving website and renamed it “Educational resources for charities” http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/cmmnctn/menu-eng.html It now contains the Toolbox for directors, officers, and volunteers and a new page “Educational programs” offered by organizations serving the charitable sector.

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March 18, 2011

Humanitarian Coalition Release on “All aid dollars raised support survivors of disaster in Japan”

Here is an interesting press release from the Humanitarian Coalition on “All aid dollars raised support survivors of disaster in Japan”. 

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March 18, 2011

Globe and Mail article “Are charities taking advantage of the urge to help Japan?” - my thoughts.

There was an article in the Globe and Mail entitled “Are charities taking advantage of the urge to help Japan?”  I think that this article misses a number of very important points.  I am not sure why the Globe and Mail decided to interview former hedge fund people who are in New York as to whether there was need in Japan for donations and to give their views greater prominence than some of the best charities in this country who have affiliates in Japan that are directly involved with the disaster.

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March 18, 2011

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust of New Zealand is added to IC84-3R and is now qualified donee

The CRA has just revised the attachment to IC84-3R, Gifts to Certain Charitable Organizations Outside Canada, to include Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust of New Zealand.

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust of New Zealand is added to IC84-3R and is now qualified donee

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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
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