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December 09, 2011

The CRA revokes the charitable status of the Canadian Foundation for Tamil Refugee Rehabilitation

The CRA just put out a press release entitled “The Canada Revenue Agency revokes the charitable status of the Canadian Foundation for Tamil Refugee Rehabilitation”.

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December 01, 2011

CRA’s Program areas and field codes for the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return + TF725 BIS

Here are the CRA’s “Program areas and field codes” for the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return and the TF725 Registered Charity Basic Information Sheet (BIS).  These codes are needed when you are completing the T3010.  As well they are useful if you are searching T3010 data to fine tune the areas of charitable work.

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November 25, 2011

Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) Suitcase

The new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) is in force as of October 17, 2011.  Industry Canada has placed hundreds of pages of information on the new act on their website in over 70 different documents.  We have tried to accumulate the information in one PDF document which is now over 400 pages For up to date information check the Industry Canada website.  We have also included for registered charities information from the Charities Directorate of CRA.  This document may be helpful because it is easier to save a PDF to your computer or laptop especially if you will not have internet connectivity.  Furthermore, one can word search (usually Control F) for words through the document.  This document is not comprehensive and in the future we may update it.

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November 24, 2011

Lipson v. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP dismissed as statute barred

In Lipson v. Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, 2011 ONSC 6724, Perell J. of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in a well written and fascinating judgement dismissed the Lipson class action claim against Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP as being statute barred ie. the Plaintiffs had not brought their action within the statute of limitation. As well a third party claim against Mintz & Partners LLP, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Glenn F. Ploughman, Shelley Shifman, Prenick Langer LLP, TMK Financial Group Ltd., Gardiner Roberts LLP, the Estate of Ronald J. Farano, and others was dismissed as well. According to the decision “Cassels Brock, Gardiner Roberts LLP, and the Farano Estate submit that Mr. Lipson’s claims and the claims of all the Class Members in negligence and in negligent misrepresentation are statute-barred.” The facts of the case are important and specifically when did the plaintiff discover his claim. Was it when CRA turned down the donation scheme, was it when the Vancouver law firm Thornsteinssons was retained on behalf of the unsuccessful investors or was it when the investors settled with CRA that they knew they had a claim? Perell decides: “In the case at bar, as soon as the letters from Canada Revenue started to arrive, Mr. Lipson and the Class Members knew or ought to have known that Cassels Brock’s opinion had caused them damage because they had actually relied on the opinions, or, but for those opinions they would not or could not have participated in the Timeshare Program and suffered damages. Given that Canada Revenue was challenging the validity of the trust, the validity of the gift, the donative intent of the participants, and the value of the donation, the donors knew that Canada Revenue could successfully deny the tax credit.” Perell continues “[151] The Class Members had all of the material facts necessary to determine that they had grounds for understanding that they had a tort claim against Cassels Brock. The Class Members may not have known the full extent of what it was going to cost them for having participated in the Timeshare Program but they did know that there had been harm caused because of Cassels Brock’s opinions.”

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Topics: News

November 21, 2011

Charity Central’s Road to Accountability has good resources on transparency and accountability

Charity Central, based in Edmonton, has released a series of resources entitled Road to Accountability to help Canadian charities deal with the issues of accountability and transparency.

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November 19, 2011

Chronicle of Philanthropy article Controversy Over Drug Values at Aid Groups: A Look at a Key Player

The US Chronicle of Philanthropy has written an article entitled “Controversy Over Drug Values at Aid Groups: A Look at a Key Player” - it has some discussion on valuation schemes in the Canadian context.

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November 19, 2011

David Baines article on Via Project donation scheme

David Baines of the Vancouver Sun just wrote an article dealing with the VIA Project entitled “Ontario company pitching controversial charitable donation scheme in Victoria:  Canada Revenue Agency has disallowed similar ‘buy low, donate high’ schemes”

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November 18, 2011

Another CRA non-profit letter on Hall Charities Association and whether non-profit

The CRA has just released another letter on the issue of whether a non-profit that is not a registered charity qualifies as a non-profit as opposed to being a for-profit taxable entity.  This letter covers “Does a Hall Charities Association meet the requirements of paragraph 149(1)(l) of the Act?”
CRA concludes that it might or might not depending on the facts and that more information is required to make such a determination.

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November 18, 2011

Presentation to the Law Society Annual Estate and Trust Summit

I recently gave a presentation to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s 14th Annual Estate and Trust Summit providing the Charity Law Update.

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November 16, 2011

Toronto Star article “Audit of charities encounters resistance”

Today the Toronto Star posted an article entitled “Audit of charities encounters resistance”.  I think that it is very important that there be transparency about charities and I have written quite a bit on the subject.  Charities must be transparent with various stakeholders because such transparency is important in informing stakeholders of the work of the charity, and maintaining public trust and confidence in the charitable sector.  However, I have a number of concerns with some of the statements and quotes in the article and also the article fails to broach many important issues and complexities with transparency in the charitable sector.

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November 16, 2011

Toronto Star article Toronto charity goes from zero to $60M in a year

The Toronto Star has written about a Canadian charity named HEDAC in an article entitled “Toronto charity goes from zero to $60M in a year”

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November 16, 2011

CRA revokes the Registration of Malvern Rouge Valley Youth Services as a Registered Charity

Another Canadian charity has been revoked involvement with “abusive charity gifting tax shelters”.  [Update] Here is a copy of various letters from CRA to The Malvern Rouge Valley Youth Services.

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November 12, 2011

Blumberg Segal and OCIC host “Trends in U.S.-based Global Grantmaking” with Council on Foundations

Here is a program we are putting on entitled “Trends in U.S.-based Global Grantmaking” with Andrew Ho of the US Council on Foundations. [update below]

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Topics: News | Global Giving

November 12, 2011

Australian Taxation Office also concerned with abusive charity schemes like we have in Canada

It seems that the Australians are also suffering from some of the tax schemes that have plagued Canada.  The Australian Tax Office notes “Examples of tax schemes Tax schemes often involve a series of complex transactions. They may also involve distorting the way funds are being used to enable you to claim deductions you are not entitled to. The following examples might not seem like tax schemes on the surface, but getting involved could be costly.
Inflated tax deductions for donation of goods to charity - A promoter may claim you can make a charitable donation and obtain a tax deduction for an amount that is significantly greater than the actual cash amount you outlay.”

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November 02, 2011

CRA Releases “Consultation on Proposed Guidance on Arts Organizations and Charitable Registration”

The CRA has just released its Consultation on Proposed Guidance on Arts Organizations and Charitable Registration under the Income Tax Act.

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November 02, 2011

CRA releases Charities connection 9 - note about CNCA, reminder charities have 3 years to transition

The CRA released on November 1 a bulletin on the new Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA).

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October 29, 2011

Globe and Mail Coverage on Giving and Philanthropy

The Globe and Mail is doing a number of articles on giving and philanthropy this week.

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Topics: News

October 24, 2011

Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement for the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA)

October 24, 2011

CRA places new pages on website on new Federal CNCA non-profit act

The CRA has placed some new web pages about the CNCA on its website.  Here is the relevant link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/prtng/nfpc/menu-eng.html

 

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October 17, 2011

Unofficial version of regulations for the CNCA - Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.

The official version of the regulations under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act will not be available until the next edition of the Canada Gazette Part II and should be on the Justice Canada website within a few weeks thereafter.  Here is an unofficial version that you can obtain from Industry Canada and as the Act has come into force today it is probably a good idea for practitioners to have a copy of them.

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October 15, 2011

Charity Tribunal in UK delivers decision on public benefit and private schools

The Charity Tribunal in the UK delivered a decision on public benefit and private schools which will affect almost a thousand UK private schools that have charitable status. This will be of interest to Canadian private schools that are registered charities as well as those interested in the importance of charities providing “public benefit”.  The debate over public benefit and what is sufficient public benefit for certain types of charities has gripped the UK.  The discussion is interesting and one that we should engage in more often in Canada.

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October 12, 2011

6th Risk Mitigation and CSR in Africa and Emerging Markets Seminar

I will be presenting on Partnering with Charities for Effective CSR. 

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Topics: News | Global Giving

October 12, 2011

Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List - October 2011

Here is a copy of the Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List - October 2011.  To sign up and receive monthly updates go to http://www.canadiancharitylaw.ca/index.php/pages/subscribe/

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October 11, 2011

Industry Canada announces that on Monday October 17, 2011 CNCA will come into effect

The long awaited Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act will come into force on October 17, 2011.  Until October 16 the current legislation (the Canada Corporations Act) can be used for incorporation but as of October 17, 2011 only the new Federal Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) can be used for incorporation.  Therefore it is best if you have signed documents to either get them in immediately or you will have to use the new forms under the new CNCA.  If you use the old act you will have 3 years to move to the new act.  Under the old CCA corporations will still for a few years be able to amend by-laws, of corporations, obtain supplementary letters patent, file an annual summary or surrender the corporations charter.  At Blumbergs we will be busy helping organizations incorporate under the new CNCA and also transition/continue from the old act to the new act.  While one does not require legal assistance with incorporation or transition for many organizations that are charities or have more complicated governance structures they may find legal assistance helpful.

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October 11, 2011

Canadians donated $70 million to East Africa famine relief

According to the Globe and Mail “Canadians contributed $70-million to East Africa famine relief, a figure that will be matched by the Harper government. This brings the total government response to $142-million – $70-million in matching funds and $72.35-million that was provided earlier for humanitarian efforts in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, where more than 13 million people are affected by a devastating drought.”  The matching funds are provided to Canadian charities that have the best plans and experience to operate in the region, not necessarily the organization that raised the most funds.

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Topics: News | Global Giving

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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