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December 04, 2015

CRA Revokes the Registration of Le Refuge des Rescapes for involvement in tax shelter scheme

Today the Canada Revenue Agency announced the revocation of the registration of of the Canadian registered charity Le Refuge des Rescapes for issuing over $2 million in official donation receipts connected with an abusive charity gifting tax scheme. 

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December 03, 2015

Some good new notices on the CRA website that will help donors and charities

I noticed recently a couple of new notices/disclaimers on the CRA website relating to CharityFocus.ca and the credibility of registered charities.

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November 30, 2015

One of the dangers of receiving government funds for your charity

The Globe and Mail on November 24, 2015 had an article "Ottawa suing UBC, former faculty of dentistry member for misuse of funds".  The article alleges that the Federal government is claiming the return of millions of dollars as funds were allegedly misused. Apparently "The lawsuit concerns transactions that went on for more than a decade, from 2002 to 2013, and were funded by $10.6-million from Health Canada. Those funds were supposed to provide dental services to First Nations people living in Haida Gwaii." 

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Topics: News

November 27, 2015

Globe and Mail “Treat holiday charitable donations like an investment”

Peter Henderson of the Globe and Mail has a short article "Treat holiday charitable donations like an investment" in which he discusses different peoples perspectives on how to choose a good charity.   For those who are interested in this topic you might want to checkout www.smartgiving.ca for some thoughts on this topic.  

Topics: News

November 27, 2015

Report by the Mowat Centre: “Change Work: Valuing decent work in the not-for-profit sector”

The Mowat Centre recently released a report with the aim of promoting the discussion of decent work in the NFP sector and encouraging action on NFP workforce development issues. The report is a result of an 18 month collaboration between the Ontario Nonprofit Network, Toronto Neighbourhood Centres and Mowat NFP. 

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November 26, 2015

Charity Commission faces further cuts as a result of budget “freeze”

The Charity Commission announced that its funding has been frozen until 2020.  The Charity Commission has already lost half of its budget over the last few years and with this freeze the budget is actually decreasing every year as a result of inflation.  The Conservative government in the UK has done a great job of undermining one of the most important charity regulators.  

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Topics: News | Global Giving

November 25, 2015

CRA initiative “Protect yourself against fraud”

It is interesting to see that CRA used to refer to "abusive charity gifting tax schemes" and they appear to be lumping them in with fraud.  "Meet Mary & William. Mary and William are a married couple with kids. They have fallen victim to a donation tax shelter scheme. Find out more about Mary and William’s story and how you can protect yourself against fraud."

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November 25, 2015

Mattachione, V. et. al. v. The Queen (TCC)

The Tax Court of Canada recently released a decision where they dismissed the appeals of former spouses relating to reassessments under the Income Tax Act with respect to their alleged charitable donations made in 2003, 2004 and 2005. 

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November 24, 2015

Major national charity allegedly hit with $800,000 fraud

A number of media outlets have reported that allegedly March of Dimes Canada has been hit with a $800,000 fraud over an 8 year period.   Here is a report from consumer reporter Sean O’Shea.  "Toronto woman charged in alleged defrauding of the March of Dimes of $800K"

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November 23, 2015

CRA letter on gifting to a public foundation

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether a gift of a share of the capital stock of a corporation to a public foundation to which subsection 118.1(5) applies after 2015, would qualify as an 'excepted gift' as defined in subsection 118.1(19) of the Income Tax Act. 

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November 23, 2015

Presentation “Helping Clients Give to Good Causes” on Giving Tuesday in Barrie

Mark Blumberg will be giving a presentation to the Planned Giving Counsel of Simcoe County on "Helping Clients Give to Good Causes".  The presentation is on December 1, 2015 which is Giving Tuesday.  

Here is a link: http://www.plannedgivingsimcoe.org/event/helping-clients-give-to-good-causes if you want to register.  

Topics: News

November 21, 2015

FATF Consultation on non-profit anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering recommendations

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has launched a quick public consultation on the Interpretative Note for Recommendation 8 which deals with non-profits and the risk of money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF).  It is a very positive step that the FATF is allowing anyone who is interested to make comments.  Comments can be provided until Friday 27 November 2015

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Topics: News

November 18, 2015

Proposal to help Canadians settle Syrian Refugees by revising CRA policy

Canadians are rallying around and want to support Syrian refugees coming to Canada.  Much of the support is coming from newly established grassroots groups working with registered charities to assist with the integration of Syrian refugees in Canada.   The new Canadian government has promised to accept and integrate a large number of Syrian refugees in Canada.  Although the Canadian government could pay for all refugees and their integration costs there are many advantages of involving volunteer groups in the process.

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November 14, 2015

The Paris terrorist attacks are a reminder to Canadian charities to be vigilant

The terrible events recently in Paris remind charities of the importance of ensuring that their resources are not used to support of terrorism.  This applies to charities operating in Canada and also those who operate outside of Canada.  Periodically charities should review the CRA checklist on avoiding terrorist abuse.  There are other resources that charities may wish to review as well.

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November 10, 2015

New E-Mail Address for Filings to Corporations Canada

Corporations Canada has a new email address when filing documents through e-mail.  This is particularly important for CNCA corporations.  The e-mail address has been changed to IC.corporationscanada.IC@canada.ca.  In the meantime, Corporations Canada still receives and accepts filings sent through the old email address corporationscanada@ic.gc.ca, but moving forward, the new email address should be used when filing documents through e-mail to Corporations Canada.

November 02, 2015

What does the 2015 Federal election mean for Canadian charities?

The Conservative loss in the 2015 Federal election and the Liberal majority government will have some impact on the Canadian charity sector.  Here is my article What does the 2015 Federal election mean for Canadian charities

November 02, 2015

Successful appeal by CRA in Canada v. Castro, 2015 FCA 225

We have previously blogged about the decision of the Tax Court of Canada in David, R. et al. v. the Queen (TCC) (here and here). In this decision, the court allowed the appeals of the respondents relating to tax credits that had been previously disallowed by the Minister of National Revenue for gifts the respondents had made to CanAfrica International (CanAfrica), a registered charity, in 2006 (each of the respondents was issued an inflated tax receipt by CanAfrica).  

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November 02, 2015

CRA letter - does a park qualify as a municipal/public body performing a function of government

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether a park qualifies as a municipal or public body performing a function of government for purposes of 149(1)(c) of the Act and the definition of a qualified donee in subsection 149.1(1).

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November 01, 2015

List of registered foreign charitable organizations that received a gift from Canada down to 2

There is a small category of qualified donees called "registered foreign charitable organizations that have received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada".  Qualified donees are groups that can issue official donation receipts under the Income Tax Act (Canada) and can also receive gifts from other qualified donees such as registered charities.  There were only 3 groups on this list but recently the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars was dropped from the list.  So we are now down to 2 foreign groups on the list.   

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November 01, 2015

Ontario Bar Association program “Top Compliance Issues for Canadian Charities” on Nov 9, 2015

On November 9, 2015 I will be presenting a program for the Ontario Bar Association, along with Nevena Urosevic, on Top Compliance Issues for Canadian Charities.  It is available both in-person and by webcast.

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November 01, 2015

“Nonprofits Proliferate but Not the Regulators, Says Report” cited in Chronicle of Philanthropy

In the US there has been a dramatic increase in the number of non-profits over the last few years.  The Chronicle of Philanthropy has written a short article citing a forthcoming report which outlines how state regulators have not increased their capacity which effectively means that there is far less oversight of US charities.  Apparently 53% of state regulators have not increased their staffing levels since 2008 and about 13 percent have decreased them.  The IRS is also in a state of "paralysis" when it comes to regulating charities.  

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Topics: News | Global Giving

October 26, 2015

GLGI abusive charitable gifting tax scheme slammed in Tax Court of Canada

In the case Mariano v. The Queen 2015 TCC 244 the Honourable Justice F.J. Pizzitelli reviewed in great detail the Global Learning Trust (2004) and the Global Learning Gift Initiative (GLGI) program.  These programs are what CRA calls abusive charity gifting tax schemes.  For those interested in the regulation of charities and the definition of gift this is a must read case.  It discusses gifts and donative intent, fair market value and valuation reports.  Mr. Justice F.J. Pizzitelli goes into great detail and analyzes the various positions, their expert witnesses and the conduct of the promoter's advisors.

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October 22, 2015

“All My Relations Gathering: Innovation Emerging from Tradition” conference in Winnipeg - Nov 17-18

The "All My Relations Gathering: Innovation Emerging from Tradition" conference will be taking place in Winnipeg this year on November 17-18, 2015.

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October 20, 2015

CASL Implied Consent Guidance from the CRTC

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) recently published a new guidance on Implied Consent under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) entitled “From Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Guidance on Implied Consent” (the “Guidance”). The Guidance will be helpful for charities in understanding when there may be implied consent if the charity does not have express consent and is sending a commercial electronic message.    

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Topics: News

October 18, 2015

Snapshot on Political Activities in the Canadian Charity Sector 2013

We have prepared as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project this Snapshot on Political Activities in the Canadian Charity Sector 2013.

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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.

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