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November 03, 2010

Advisory on Tax Shelter Gifting Arrangements by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board

Here is an advisory recently posted on the site of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board warning people to be cautious about any tax shelter involving the gift of cultural property in Canada.  The Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board has instituted a number of measures to minimize the possibility of inflated donations or valuations of cultural property including changes to the application form.

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November 03, 2010

Copy of Mark’s Presentation on new CRA Foreign Activity Guidance

Here is a copy of a presentation I have given on CRA’s Foreign Activity Guidance.  It has been delivered in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa over the last couple of months.  If groups are interested in trying to arrange such a presentation then let me know.

November 03, 2010

CRA’s Annual Report to Parliament 2009-2010 - has references to registered charities

The Canada Revenue Agency’s annual report to parliament is interesting reading.  It has some references to the Charities Directorate, the Charities Partnership and Outreach Program, audits by the charities directorate etc.

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November 03, 2010

Do you have “Questions About CRA’s Fundraising Guidance” - join Mark Blumberg on a “charity chat”

Join me on a “Charity Chat” on Friday, December 3, 2010 12:00 pm (midday) when I discuss “Questions About the Fundraising Guidance”.  The Charity Chats are a series of informal online discussions about legal issues affecting charities put on by the Charity Law Information Program (CLIP) of Capacity Builders, with the support of CRA’s Charities Partnership and Outreach Program.  It will be about an hour.  There is no fee.  You don’t have to have read the CRA’s Fundraising Guidance but if you want to you can find a copy at:
http://www.capacitybuilders.ca/files/resources/CRA_Fundraising_Guidance_1259599283.pdf

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November 02, 2010

Bangura, S. v. The Queen 2010 TCC 551 - false receipting - tax court denies claim for gift

Paragraphs 11-14 of this judgement deal with dubious charitable tax receipts amounting to $15,000.  The court criticized the receipts for not having certain mandatory information as set out in the Regulations to the Income Tax Act and also said that it was implausible in his circumstances, and without there being any evidence of the gift, that Mr. Bangura made the donation of 15,000 in one year.  If you want to know what the mandatory elements are see: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/chcklsts/rcpts-eng.html

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November 02, 2010

CIDA Call for Proposals (Muskoka Initiative Partnership Program)

Here is information from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Partnerships with Canadians Branch (PWCB) on a new $75 million “call for projects over $500,000 to take a comprehensive and integrated approach to address maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), under its Partners for Development Program.”

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Topics: News | CIDA

November 01, 2010

Strategy Institute 8th Annual The Foundation, Endowment & Not For Profit Investment Summit

The Strategy Institute’s Foundation, Endowment & Not For Profit Investment Summit is the 8th of its type and will be held in Toronto on January 18 and 19th, 2011.  I will be speaking there on Governance and Compliance Challenges for Foundations in 2011.

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November 01, 2010

UJA Federation of Greater Toronto 2nd Annual Charity Law Seminar for Jewish communal organizations

Here is an upcoming UJA seminar I will be involved in for January 13, 2011.

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November 01, 2010

Section 3501 of the Income Tax Regulations under the Income Tax Act Canada dealing with receipting

Here is a copy of Section 3501 of the Income Tax Regulations under the Income Tax Act Canada dealing with the issuance of official donation receipts and the contents of receipts.

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October 29, 2010

Canada Provides Tax Relief for Charitable Donations to the American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts

The Government of Canada has announced that it has designated the American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts (AFCLT) as a “prescribed donee” which will help US donors who wish to donate their Canadian land to this particular US charity to obtain certain tax benefits in the US.

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Topics: News | Global Giving

October 29, 2010

The CRA revokes the registered status of Biathlon Canada

Another registered Canadian amateur athletic association (RCAAA) loses its status because of involvement with abusive charity gifting tax shelters.  $25.9 million in donation receipts.  This sports group should be ashamed of itself.

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October 28, 2010

R. v. Leo-Mensah, 2010 ONCA 139 - charity receipting fraud results in longer sentence

Charity receipting fraud in Canada is a big problem.  According to CRA, between 100,000-135,000 donors have been involved between 2004 and 2009 with hundreds of millions in fraudulent donation receipts issued.  There is no question that the courts will sentence anyone involved to prison.  The issue is how much time.  In R. v. Leo-Mensah it dealt with that issue.  The Crown sought a stiffer sentence and the courts agreed and gave the accused an extra two years, that is after he had already spent 11 months in pre-trial custody for which he receive a credit on a two-for-one basis.  He also received a significant fine.  The trial judge had not taken into account “as an aggravating factor, that the value of the fraud committed exceeded $1,000,000.  This she was obliged to do pursuant to s. 380.1(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.”

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October 26, 2010

Auditor General Report on CRA, Registered Charities and Abusive Charity Gifting Tax Shelter Schemes

The 2010 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada has been released and Chapter 7 deals with Registered Charities and the Canada Revenue Agency.  The audit report is positive.  The report suggests some areas for changes or improvements.  Here is the conclusion to the report:

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October 25, 2010

Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List - October 2010

Here is a copy of the Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List newsletter for October 2010.

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October 25, 2010

Minister Oda unveils CIDA’s Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy

CIDA today released further information on its third and last priority theme:Sustainable Economic Growth.  CIDA had previously discussed food security and children and youth.

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Topics: News | CIDA

October 25, 2010

Cathy Hawara appointed Director General of the Charities Directorate of the CRA

Cathy Hawara, previously Acting Director General, has now been appointed Director General of the Charities Directorate of the CRA, effective October 5, 2010.  This is very good news as we will have some greater stability at the Charities Directorate.  She has continued the approach of consultation with the sector, providing education to registered charities on their Income Tax Act obligations and a much needed vigorous crackdown on a few bad apples who are involved with abusive charity gifting tax shelters and receipting fraud.

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October 25, 2010

Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) Receives Royal Assent

The Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act received Royal Assent on October 25, 2010.  Here is a copy of the Explanatory Notes and the Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act.

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October 16, 2010

Toronto Star article “Charity boss hires own firm to fundraise” raises fundraising ethical issues

Here is an interesting article by Kevin Donovan of the Toronto Star entitled “Charity boss hires own firm to fundraise” in which he describes some of the dealings at the Oshawa Hospital Foundation.  There is also a response by the Oshawa Hospital Foundation. [Update - There are further articles, including in the Toronto Star that discuss this issue and they are noted below]

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October 16, 2010

Media Coverage of Charities and Fundraising Rules - charity chat with Ken Mayhew + me

I am going to be involved with a number of informal “Charity Chats” over the next few months.  The first one is going to be on “Media Coverage of Charities and Fundraising Rules”.  The description is “The media has recently been focused on fundraising practices of Canadian charities.  Join Ken Mayhew, Chief Development Officer, MS Society of Canada, and Chair, Association of Fundraising Professionals Government Relations Committee, and charity lawyer Mark Blumberg, of Blumberg Segal LLP and editor of GlobalPhilanthopy.ca, who will discuss: Media’s view of fundraising by charities; The Fundraising Guidance and how this will affect media coverage; Essential elements of the Fundraising Guidance and how they can be used to respond to media and public concerns.

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October 14, 2010

William J. Clinton Foundation has been added as a Canadian qualified donee in IC84-3R

The “William J. Clinton Foundation” has been added as a qualified donee in the “Attachment to IC84-3R, Gifts to Certain Charitable Organizations Outside Canada”.

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October 11, 2010

Submission “Canadians demand more transparency in non-profit and charitable sector”

October 11, 2010

Some praise for Mark Blumberg’s workshops on Canadian charity law issues

Here are some comments from attendees to my recent presentations on receipting.

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October 11, 2010

Upcoming presentations in Ottawa with Volunteer Ottawa - Top Charity Issues and Foreign Activities

I will be presenting 2 workshops in Ottawa on November 3rd with Volunteer Ottawa- one on “Top CRA Compliance Issues for Canadian Registered Charities and their Directors” and the second workshop on “Foreign Activities by Canadian Charities - CRA’s new Guidance on Activities Outside of Canada for Canadian Registered Charities”  Here is further information:

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October 11, 2010

The Great Debate: Charity Ratios and Ranking - Blumberg, Pallotta, Mayhew and Storie

At the upcoming 2010 AFP Greater Toronto Congress I will be on a panel to discuss “The Great Debate: Charity Ratios and Ranking”

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October 09, 2010

Article in Winnipeg Free Press “Make sure tax shelter doesn’t break CRA rules” by David Christianson

If you are a bit greedy and thinking of investing in charity gifting tax shelters here is a good article in the Winnipeg Free Press by David Christianson that is worth reading entitled “Make sure tax shelter doesn’t break CRA rules”.

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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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