Blog

April 24, 2015

Political Activity Audits and the CRA Program Update 2015

We have blogged about the CRA Program Update 2015 separately but wanted to focus here on what the update provides in terms of information on the political activity audits of CRA's Charities Directorate.  CRA should be commended for publishing a program update.  I am certainly not aware of any regulatory requirement that they need to, but the program update does provide useful information for the charity sector.  In the program update you have to read pretty far into the 5000 word document to see the "Charities and Political Activities" update but it is important so we have created a separate blog post. 

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April 23, 2015

Sowa v. Canada - FCA dismisses appeal of disallowed donation

Sowa v. Canada involves an alleged donation of $10,250 in 2006 by Emily Sowa.   The Tax Court of Canada "doubted the truthfulness of the appellant’s claim that she donated $10,250.00."   Also the purported receipt did not contain all the required elements.  The FCA did not find any error on the TCC's part and dismissed the appeal with costs.

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April 23, 2015

SCC denies leave to appeal in Humanics Institute case

The case of Humanics Institute v. Minister of National Revenue deals with the refusal of CRA to register an organization as a charity in the category of advancement of religion.  The Humanics Institute had lost in the Federal Court of Appeal and now the Supreme Court has denied them leave to appeal.  

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April 22, 2015

Mark Blumberg on The Agenda with Steve Paikin - Charity Goes Viral

On March 26, 2015 Mark Blumberg was on The Agenda with Steve Paikin discussing crowdfunding.  Other guests included Marina Glogovac, Caroline Riseboro, Bruce MacDonald, Daryl Hatton and Sabrina Nicosia.  It was entitled "Charity Goes Viral".  

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Topics: News

April 22, 2015

Upcoming Webinars for the Canadian Charity Law Association

The Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars.

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April 21, 2015

2015 Federal Budget and its Impact on Canadian Charities

Today the Federal government released its budget.  There were a few items that will impact charities and non-profits in Canada.  Here are the actual provisions in the 2015 Federal budget that impact charities.

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April 20, 2015

Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Canadian Charity Sector 2013

We have just released the Blumbergs' Snapshot of the Canadian Charity Sector 2013 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project.   The database covers about 83,000 of the 86,000 registered charities in Canada that had filed their T3010 and were processed into CRA’s Charity Listing database by December 2014. 

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April 17, 2015

Largest Canadian Registered Charities by Employment Compensation

We prepared an article on the largest Canadian charity employers.  The article is entitled "Largest Canadian Registered Charities by Employment Compensation"

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April 10, 2015

CRA’s Charity Program Update 2015 - provides useful information on the charity sector and regulation

The Charities Directorate of CRA has released the Charity Program Update 2015.  We will discuss the update in this note, except for the parts dealing with political activities which we will discuss here.

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March 24, 2015

CRA letter on qualifying as a municipal or 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'  in Canada within the meaning of paragraph 149 (1) (c) of the Act. CRA concluded that they would require additional information on the park in order to make a determination that the park would qualify and would be accountable to the public, the province and the municipalities from which it was created.

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March 20, 2015

Save the Date - October 14, 2015 - Blumbergs’ Charity Law Institute

On October 14, 2015 the Blumbergs' Charity Law Institute will be held in Toronto.  Save the date and details will follow.   The cost will be $185.  There will be an early bird discount available with the code EB2015 which can save you $40.   Last year we sold out and if you want to book early you can register now.   

March 13, 2015

Industry Canada provides list of corporations that have received a Notice of Decision to Dissolve

Industry Canada is now providing as part of their ‘Monthly Transactions’ online a list of the Corporations that it intends to dissolve as a result of failing to transition to the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (‘CNCA’). 

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March 12, 2015

Upcoming Webinars for the Canadian Charity Law Association

The Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars. More information on each of these webinars and how to register is provided below: 

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March 11, 2015

Article “Aid Barriers and the Rise of Philanthropic Protectionism” by Doug Rutzen

Doug Rutzen of ICNL has published an interesting article entitled Aid Barriers and the Rise of Philanthropic Protectionism.  The article is an updated version of an earlier article entitled "Regulation or Repression: Government Policing of Cross Border Charity,”  

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Topics: News | Global Giving

March 11, 2015

CRA letter on tax treatment of post-doctoral fellowship and travel conference allowance

CRA recently released a letter which discusses the proper tax treatment of a post-doctoral fellowship and a travel/conference allowance received from a trust administered by a registered charity.

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March 11, 2015

CRA letter on gifts made by will

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether a gift by will of marketable securities provided to a Foundation would be deemed to have been made immediately before the death of the donor.  CRA concluded that the gift did constitute a gift by will made immediately before the death of the donor under subsection 118.1 (5) of the ITA.  The letter appears to have been written before the 2014 budget, which will have an impact on the bequests are dealt with in estates where the testator died on or after January 1, 2016.     

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March 09, 2015

CRA makes available a Political Activities PowerPoint Presentation for registered charities to use

As part of their educational mandate to encourage charities to be compliant with their legal requirements, including when conducting political activities, the Charities Directorate has released a "Political Activities PowerPoint Presentation" that registered charities can use internally to understand the limits of political activities.  There is both the presentation and the speakers notes.    

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March 05, 2015

CRTC Issues its First Fine under CASL and it does not relate to a non-profit or charity

The CRTC issued its first CASL violation to Compu-Finder for four alleged violations occurring between July 2, 2014 and September 16, 2014. A penalty of $1.1 million dollars was imposed by the CRTC and Compu-Finder will have 30 days to submit written representations to the CRTC or pay the penalty. The alleged violations relate to commercial electronic messages sent by Compu-Finder without a recipient’s consent and without properly functioning unsubscribe mechanisms. According to the Spam Reporting Centre, complaints against Compu-Finder accounted for 26% of all complaints submitted in its industry sector. 

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March 05, 2015

Finance report on tax expenditures and the charitable tax credit

The Department of Finance has released a somewhat in depth report as part its tax evaluation series on "Evaluation of the Federal Charitable Donation Tax Credit".  It is an interesting report.  If one is interested in tax incentives the reports of the PBO are also worth reading.   

March 04, 2015

Statistics about giving tell you so much and so little!

Here is an interesting quote from the CCVO newsletter.   "Albertans...more Scrooge than Saint? The recent stats on charitable donations from Statistics Canada placed Alberta close to the top with the second highest median donation. However Maclean's took it one step further and compared median donations as percentage of median total income. When you compare Alberta to other provinces this way we come in second last.  Albertans give a smaller amount as a % of our income."

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March 02, 2015

OHA “Strengthening Foundation Governance: Current Issues, Challenges and Solutions” 2015

I am pleased to be presenting to the Ontario Hospital Association's third annual Strengthening Foundation Governance Workshop on May 22, 2015.

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March 02, 2015

2015 Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise (CCSE) in London, Ontario

I am delighted to be co-presenting at the 2015 Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise (CCSE) on the topic "Structuring for Impact – Finding The Right Form For Your Social Enterprise".  The conference is from April 22-24.

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February 27, 2015

20 Ways We May Be Able To Help You With ONCA By Mark Blumberg

Here is my article 20 Ways We May Be Able To Help You With ONCA.  It sets out some of the items that our law firm can assist Ontario non-profit corporations with when preparing for ONCA.

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February 25, 2015

CRA releases CG-022 Housing and Charitable Registration Guidance

The CRA on February 6, 2015 released a new guidance entitled CG-022 Housing and Charitable Registration Guidance.  It covers a number of issues relating to housing including how housing can be used to relieve poverty and the provision of specially adapted housing for those with disabilities. It sets out a number of specific pieces of information that would need to be provided if an organization is applying for charity status to be able to show that the provision of housing is charitable.  Existing housing providers should also be able to show that information if they ever audited.  

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February 25, 2015

Arthur v. The Queen - another case in which the TCC rejects receipts and sides with CRA

In Arthur v. The Queen, 2015 TCC 43, Juliet Arthur was appealing a reassessment made by CRA relating to two receipts.   The case provides a good summary of the cases dealing with lack of appropriate documentation for donations - especially when they are either cash or gifts in kind. The TCC dismissed the appeal with "Considering the evidence as a whole, I conclude that the appellant has not shown on a balance of probabilities that she made a charitable donation in the total amount of $3,529 to Emilia in 2006, even though a receipt was provided which purported to show that she had done so."

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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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