Blog

July 01, 2014

Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Canadian Charity Sector 2012

We have just released the Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Canadian Charity Sector 2012.  The Canadian charity sector has grown again.   The Canadian charity sector is a vital part of Canadian society and economy with revenue of over $223 billion and expenditures of about $218 billion.

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June 27, 2014

CRTC releases “Guidelines to help businesses develop corporate compliance programs” for CASL

CRTC has recently released its "Guidelines to help businesses develop corporate compliance programs".  The CRTC is quite tentative in their Guidelines.   This we know.  The Guidelines are not legal advice, they are guidance and they "may" help facilitate legal compliance.  Each organization is different.  It is general guidance, not prescriptive and it is not exhaustive.  Reading all the caveats is exhausting.   The Guidelines provide some good 'motherhood and apple pie' type advice dealing with compliance issues such as CASL.  Although not geared for charities and non-profit much of the guidelines is equally helpful to charities and non-profits.  

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June 27, 2014

CRA letter on taxable benefits to employees and opting to forego a non-cash gift

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether an employee will realize a taxable benefit if the employee opts to forego a non-cash gift valued over $500 that he or she is otherwise entitled to and directs the employer to make a cash gift of a specified amount to a specified registered charity.

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June 27, 2014

CRA Letter on donations of fossils

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether the transfer of the custody of a fossil to a qualified donee can be considered a charitable gift. CRA concluded that this would be a question of both fact and law but there would need to be a transfer of property present.

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June 27, 2014

CRA letter on donations of ecogifts

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether the donation of a conservation easement by a landowner would be considered a gift for tax purposes. 

CRA provided general comments on ecological gifts. 

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June 26, 2014

Now Magazine “Men’s rights group used feminists’ names on charity application”

I never thought I would live to see the day.   Yes a popular magazine has a story that revolves around the T2050 - Application to Register a Charity Under the Income Tax Act.   Now Magazine has an article entitled "Men’s rights group used feminists’ names on charity application" in which it alleges that a registered charity may have put in a deceptive charity application to the Charities Directorate.  

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June 21, 2014

Understanding remittances from Canada - the US$24 billion question

Remittances from Canada are important.   Remittances are defined by Wikipedia as "A remittance is a transfer of money by a foreign worker to an individual in his or her home country."   Some of those countries are developing world countries and these remittances are important in helping families and friends with the cost of living, education etc.   

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Topics: News | Global Giving

June 16, 2014

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and its impact on charities and non-profit organizations

On July 1, 2014 Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into force.   Here is a brief article describing some of the key points of CASL and how it will impact Canadian charities.

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June 11, 2014

Standing Committee on Finance invites Canadians to provide pre-budget submissions


The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance has released a press release encouraging Canadian to share pre-budget proposals on six key themes.  

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June 09, 2014

Toronto Star article on national charity causes media focus today on charity sector

With the Toronto Star covering the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada there has been a media focus on the issue of overhead and how to select good charities.

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Topics: News

June 06, 2014

Ontario Ministry confirms delay of ONCA until 2016

The Ontario Ministry has provided an update on their website with respect to the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 ("ONCA") under 'ONCA: Frequently Asked Questions" which indicates that the ONCA is not expected to come into force before 2016. Initially there were discussions that the ONCA may come into force in 2015 but it appears that this is no longer the case.

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June 05, 2014

Narul Hassan vs. The Queen -fraudulent receipting and fraud upon the public

In Narul Hassan vs. The Queen it is another false receipting case.   "It appears almost certain that this program involved a fraud on the Canadian tax system, and therefore on the Canadian public. It is not clear to me whether Mr. Hassan was complicit or merely duped."

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June 05, 2014

UK government to bring in more protections for charities

In The Queen's Speech 2014 it notes the introduction of a bill to protect charities.

Here is a quote from The Queen's Speech 2014:

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June 04, 2014

David, R. et al. v. the Queen (TCC) - CRA files appeal

CRA has appealed the decision of David, R. et al. v. The Queen (TCC) to the Federal Court of Appeal. This case involved six separate appeals with respect to the disallowance of a tax credit by CRA for a purported charitable gift to CanAfrica International Foundation. The judge waived penalties and allowed the cash contribution of the individuals.

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May 30, 2014

SCC denies leave to appeal in Neville v. National Foundation for Christian Leadership

On May 29, 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal in Neville v. National Foundation for Christian Leadership.   It was an application for leave to appeal the decision of the BCCA in January 2014.  

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May 30, 2014

Societies Act in Alberta is amended to allow continuances to/from other jurisdictions

On May 14, 2014, Alberta's Bill 12 - Statutes Amendment Act, 2014 received Royal Assent (it has not yet come into force). The Alberta Societies Act  which governs many not-for-profit corporations in Alberta is one of the statutes that was amended as a result of the Bill. There has been a significant amendment to the Societies Act which allows for not-for-profit organizations incorporated in Alberta to continue to other jurisdictions (such as the Federal Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA)) and allows for those not-for-profit organizations incorporated in other jurisdictions to continue in Alberta.

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May 27, 2014

CRA letter on Prescribed Prizes for Olympic Athletes

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether cash prizes awarded to Olympic athletes should be taxed. CRA stated that a cash prize does not qualify as a prescribed prize and provided the following comments:

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May 23, 2014

Save the Date - October 15, 2014 - Blumbergs’ Charity Law Institute

On October 15, 2014 the Blumbergs Charity Law Institute will be held in Toronto.   

May 16, 2014

Kathryn Kossow v. Her Majesty The Queen - leave to appeal dismissed with costs by SCC on May 15

The Kathryn Kossow v. Her Majesty The Queen application for leave to appeal was dismissed with costs by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) on May 15, 2014.   The Federal Court of Appeal released its adverse decision against the taxpayers in December 2013. The taxpayers filed Leave to Appeal against this decision at the Supreme Court of Canada on March 7, 2014. Leave to Appeal was dismissed with costs on May 15, 2014.  Marechaux and Kossow are the two big decisions that the SCC has denied leave to appeal dealing with abusive charity gifting tax schemes.  

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May 10, 2014

Is CRA making registered charity applications harder?

Anecdotally, it feels like the charity application process has become harder.  We have before published stats on the registrations of Canadian registered charities by the Determinations section of the Charity Directorate and so I thought I would crunch some numbers. I compared 2008 to 2012.  In 2008 59% of applicants were registered compared to only 46% in 2012.   That is quite a big difference. Is this good or bad?

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Topics: News

May 07, 2014

Auditor General report on “Aggressive Tax Planning”

The Office of the Auditor General of Canada has just released a report on a number of topics including "Aggressive Tax Planning".   The report is interesting and provides some additional information on a number of points.  Although generally positive there is no question that recent cut backs at CRA are going to make it more difficult to stop tax evasion.  

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Topics: News

May 06, 2014

Blurb from Ontario Non-profit Network (ONN)

Here is a blurb from the ONN May E-bulletin:   "Just how many nonprofits?!  It's amazing the number of calls and emails we received about this first-ever list of nonprofits in Ontario. What we know: there are 59,605 registered not-for-profit organizations in Ontario in this list, and likely more, including those registered nationally or in other provinces. While the list is not a searchable database yet, it's an important step forward, thanks to Mark Blumberg who got the list through Freedom of Information requests and made it public. ONN will continue to advocate for an online searchable database of registered nonprofits in Ontario- we hear you on how important this is for the sector-building and open data!"

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May 05, 2014

7th International Charity Regulators meeting in Melbourne

Here is a note from the New Zealand Charities Services, which is a branch of the Department of Internal Affairs.  It describes an interesting meeting held in Australia between different charity regulators including the Charities Directorate.   

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May 03, 2014

Ontario budget 2014, the call for an election and impact on the charity sector

The budget had a number of interesting proposals - perhaps my favourite was improving the pay of personal support workers (PSW).  Many who even wanted an election liked some of the aspects of the budget and hopefully one day some of the proposals can be revisited.  Some of the candidates views are night and day and I will let other hypothesize of the impact of different governments on society and the economy.   

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May 03, 2014

Latest statistics on “abusive charity gifting tax schemes”

I recently requested numbers from CRA on abusive charity gifting tax schemes.  The number are trending down.  2006 was the highest at $1.3 billion.  2011 was $299 million. 2012 was $273,000.  2013 preliminary numbers are $100,000 but as we know there are more returns to be filed.  Crossing my fingers that the 100 million does not increase too much.

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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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