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April 29, 2014

IRFAN added to Canadian governments list of “listed entities”

The Globe and Mail this morning had an article on the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy – Canada which is also known as IRFAN – Canada.  CRA had revoked the charitable status of IRFAN - Canada.   IRFAN - Canada is appealing that decision to the Federal Court of Appeal.  Today the Canadian government in the Canada Gazette added IRFAN - Canada as a "listed entity".   We have posted material on IRFAN - Canada before including the letters to IRFAN - Canada from the CRA with respect to the CRA's concerns.   It will be interesting to see how this story develops and the status of the appeal.

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April 28, 2014

Blumbergs’ List of Canada Corporations Act non-profits that need to continue to the CNCA

Here is the Blumbergs' List of Canada Corporations Act non-profits that need to continue to the CNCA.  The federal government as part of its Open Data initiative provides a complete list of Federal corporations (for-profit and non-profit) in XML format.  We thought it might be helpful to look at which Canadian non-profits corporations are still under the old Canada Corporations Act (CCA) and may need to continue under the Canada Not-for profit Corporations Act (CNCA).

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April 27, 2014

Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Alberta Charity Sector 2012

We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2012 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project.   We have taken a subset of the 2012 T3010 data to look at only registered charities based in Alberta.    The data set was updated to January 2014.  Alberta has a very important charitable sector and this will shed a small amount of light on some of the numbers.   

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April 26, 2014

CRA provides updated statistical information on the charity sector

The CRA has updated its "media kit" and specifically the facts and figures section.

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April 26, 2014

CRA launches new video series on charities and political activities

The CRA has prepared a new video series entitled "Charities and their participation in political activities".  It has 3 videos which are each about 3 minutes long.  There has been  a great deal of interest in political activities and charities over the last couple of years.  I would recommend that charities listen to these CRA videos.   I will also point out that I recently did a 25 minute video on political activities for the Maytree Foundation that some may also find useful.   

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April 26, 2014

World Giving Index ranks Canada #2

The Charities Aid Foundation in the UK has been publishing a World Giving Index for a number of years.   It compares donations, volunteering and helping strangers in about 130 countries.   Overall Canada comes in 2nd.   Although such an endeavour is quite subjective, it is certainly better than trying to equate donations on a tax form with "generosity".  

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Topics: News | Global Giving

April 22, 2014

Copy of notice from Industry Canada “transition now ... or risk dissolution”

Here is a notice from Industry Canada that they are sending to federal non-profit corporations under the Canada Corporations Act.  

April 21, 2014

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

I will be presenting at the Ontario Hospital Association's conference "Strengthening Foundation Governance: Current Issues, Challenges and Solutions" on May 30, 2014 in Toronto.   

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April 19, 2014

Blumbergs’ Charity Legal Checklist

Here is an updated version of the Blumbergs Charity Legal Checklist.

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April 18, 2014

Some historical CRA letters when registered charity status is revoked - Part II

For a number of years we have been providing the public with copies of CRA revocation letters.  These letters set out the CRA reasons for revocation of charitable status when CRA is alleging cause.  This the second part of the series.

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April 17, 2014

Toronto Star covers CRA criminal investigation of charity tax shelters

In an article entitled "Canada Revenue Agency expands investigations of tax shelters", Kevin Donovan of the Toronto Star discusses how "As many as 12 charity tax shelter promoters are under criminal investigation for schemes that saw donors contribute millions of dollars in return for charity receipts worth six times as much."

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April 10, 2014

Industry Canada changes Federal Corporate Profile Reports to remind non-profits of CNCA continuance

Many Canadian non-profit corporations don't know about the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) which came into force in 2011 and requires that all existing Canada Corporations Act (CCA) non-profit corporations must transition to the CNCA by October 17, 2014.   Corporations that do not make the transition by the deadline will be assumed to be inactive and will be dissolved by Corporations Canada.  Industry Canada has indicated that the deadline will not be extended and that they will start sending out Notice of Pending Dissolution in October of 2014.  

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April 10, 2014

Holst v. The Queen, 2014 TCC 104 -another Tax Court of Canada case on false receipting

In the Holst case the Honourable Justice Judith Woods rejected certain taxpayers alleged donations to a church.  She noted:

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April 09, 2014

Bill 85 enters its Second Reading on Thursday in the Ontario Legislature

This Thursday, Bill 85 - An Act to amend various companies statutes and to amend other statutes consequential to the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 will enter its Second Reading by the Ontario Legislature and then be referred to a Standing Committee. This Bill, which had its first reading on June 5, 2013, proposes some amendments to the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act ("ONCA").  This Bill is similar to the earlier version.   There has been a significant delay of the implementation of ONCA and passing this Bill will be an important step in moving the process forward.  

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April 09, 2014

Imagine Canada names new President and CEO Bruce MacDonald

A few months ago I was saddened to learn that Marcel Lauzière was leaving Imagine to move to a foundation.   Now Imagine Canada has picked a new President and CEO.

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Topics: News

April 07, 2014

CRA letter on taxation of gifts from parent to teacher

CRA recently released a letter which discusses the taxation of amounts donated to a private charitable foundation by parents to assist teachers with certain costs, in particular if the parent donations result in a taxable benefit for the teachers. 

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April 07, 2014

CRA letter on taxability of payment from US charitable trust

CRA recently released a letter that discusses whether monthly payments from a US charitable trust paid to a former employee are taxable.

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April 02, 2014

Statistics Canada’s “Note to readers” on charitable giving is more important than the numbers

I have stopped caring about the numbers from Stats Can on charitable giving because they are so out of whack with reality.   I think that the note to reader is more important than the numbers.   If you would believe the Stats Can version of events Canadians are giving less.   In 2011 they gave $8.5 billion and in 2012 they gave $8.3 billion which is a decline of 1.9% according to Stats Can.   

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March 29, 2014

Some nice comments on the recently disclosed list of Ontario non-profit corporations

I have received some very positive feedback on the disclosure of the list of Ontario non-profit corporations.   Here is the list.

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March 27, 2014

Federal Government announces proposal to allow charities to sell lottery tickets online

Yesterday the Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson and National Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay announced that in order to reduce administrative costs associated with charitable lotteries and to allow charities to modernize their lottery systems, there is a proposal in Economic Action Plan 2014 which will amend the Criminal Code to allow charities to sell their lottery tickets online. The current system forces registered charities that conduct lotteries as part of fundraising to process all sales manually and send tickets by mail rather than electronically.

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March 25, 2014

Johnson v. The Queen, 2014 TCC 84 - another false receipting case

In Johnson v. The Queen the Tax Court of Canada dealt with a case in which Mr. Johnson had made claims in 2002 and 2003 taxation years for donations of $18,550 and $15,500 respectively.

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March 24, 2014

Finance releases Legislative Proposals Notice of Ways and Means for February 11, 2014 budget

The Department of Finance has released the "Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures and Explanatory Notes". Some of the provisions were announced in the Budget such as changes to ecological gifts, cultural property, charity parking, gifts from the Iranian and Syrian government (and agents). 

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March 24, 2014

Julie Guindon v. Her Majesty the Queen - SCC provide leave to hear appeal from FCA

The FCA decision in Julie Guindon v. Her Majesty the Queen has been given leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. 

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March 21, 2014

CRA letter on charitable gifts by secondary will

The CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether a taxpayer's estate was entitled to donation tax credits claimed for a charitable gift made by an individual in her secondary will. The use of a Primary and Secondary Will may be for a number of reasons, although typically in Ontario  the assets that don't require probate are placed in a different will to those assets that do require probate.   In this way some of the probate tax can be avoided.   The letter discusses various issues such as whether the trustees had the discretion to make a gift to a Charity and the factors considered when determining whether a donation to a charity has been made by a taxpayer in their will.

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March 19, 2014

List of Ontario Non-Profit Corporations finally revealed for the first time

Here is a list of the Ontario non-profit corporations under the Ontario Corporations Act.  There are 59,605 Ontario corporations on the list.  The list is 1084 pages long.  Some of the Ontario corporations are active and some are inactive.  We think that it is important for organizations to be able to have a public list so that they can easily determine whether or not they are an Ontario corporation.  

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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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