Blog

November 09, 2016

Blumbergs looking to hire Charity and Corporate Law Clerk / Legal Assistant

We are looking to hire Charity and Corporate Law Clerk / Legal Assistant,  Here is further information

Topics: News

November 05, 2016

20 Ways We May Be Able To Help You With ONCA as We Go Into 2017

For some the mention of ONCA causes anxiety or anger.  Never fear - help is here!  Here are "20 Ways We May Be Able To Help You With ONCA as We Go Into 2017".

November 03, 2016

Mark Blumberg’s article “CRA consultation on political activities – to submit or not to submit?”

I recently wrote an article for Hilborn entitled "CRA consultation on political activities – to submit or not to submit?"  Here is the text of the article:

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November 03, 2016

CRA is now including a T3010 reminder notice in Notification of Registration letters

Recently we noticed that CRA is now including a T3010 reminder notice in the Notification of Registration letters being issued to new Canadian registered charities. The reminder notice relates to the due date of the charity's annual information return with CRA.  

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November 03, 2016

CRA releases new educational video series on ‘Gifting and Receipting’

CRA recently released its first video as part of a new educational video series on 'Gifting and Receipting'.  This series is meant to educate the public, donors, and those involved in the charitable sector on the type of donations that are tax-receiptable and the different CRA rules regarding receipting.  

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November 02, 2016

An ICN Webinar – CRA Regulations and the Political Activities of Charities

I am pleased to be co-presenting to the ICN a webinar on "CRA Regulations and the Political Activities of Charities".

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October 29, 2016

Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2014 - focus on Ontario registered charities

We are proud to present the Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2014.  The data subset used is the CRA's 2014 T3010 data but only for registered charities based in Ontario.   

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October 27, 2016

Finance Committee report “The CRA, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion: Recommended Actions”

The Finance Committee of the House of Commons (FINA) has just released a report entitled "The Canada Revenue Agency, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion: Recommended Actions".  It is certainly worth reading.

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Topics: News

October 26, 2016

Mayne v. The Queen - involvement in one scheme is not enough for this taxpayer, so he does two

This case involves an auto worker who invested in an abusive charity gifting tax scheme.  When caught by CRA he went to another group called Fiscal Arbitrators and they suggested he claim a large amount of business losses even though he does not run a business.  What an amazing case!   I guess we can learn don't "invest" in abusive charity gifting tax schemes that promise tax saving greater than the cash you put in.  Also don't claim false business losses.   The case also states some obvious points like you should read your return before filing and penalties can be imposed on you if you are grossly negligent.   

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Topics: News

October 26, 2016

V. Ross Morrison v. The Queen - appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed

We had previously covered the V. Ross Morrison v. The Queen case dealing with the Canadian Humanitarian Trust and the Canadian Gift Initiatives donation programs.  The appellants appealed the earlier decision of Justice F.J. Pizzitelli of the Tax Court of Canada and that appeal was recently dismissed by the Federal Court of Appeal.

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October 26, 2016

CCLA Webinar to discuss the CRA’s new consultation on political activities with Mark Blumberg

As many know the CRA has launched a consultation on political activities by Canadian charities.  The Canadian Charity Law Association will be having Mark Blumberg present a webinar on the consultation and various ways of responding or not responding to it. The webinar will be on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 12:00PM EST.  You can register here for the webinar.  It is free but there is limited space.  

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October 26, 2016

UK Charity Commission finds misconduct by charity due to deficient safeguarding procedures

The UK Charity Commission has published a report regarding its inquiry into a registered charity (the Bristol Community Church Trust). The inquiry started in 2011 and related to sexual abuse allegations that were made against the charity's youth pastor and the inadequacy of the charity's internal safeguarding practices with respect to their response to these allegations.  

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October 23, 2016

NYT article “They Took In One Refugee Family. But Families Don’t Have Borders.”

There is a new article in the New York Times entitled "They Took In One Refugee Family. But Families Don’t Have Borders."  It is a followup to an earlier article on the experience of 3 Syrian families who had come to Canada recently as refugees which we covered here.  The most recent report by Jodi Kantor and Catrin Einhorn discusses the difficulty that Syrian refugees and their sponsors face in a world of instant technology when the refugees are in Canada but their families are left behind.

Topics: News

October 22, 2016

Charities Directorate Political Activities Education and Information Plan

As part of the CRA focus on political activities the CRA did some educational activities and awareness raising about the rules for Canadian charities conducting political activities.  Here is a copy of the Charities Directorate Political Activities Education and Information Plan.

October 18, 2016

CRA letter on improvement districts qualifying as a municipal or public body

CRA has released a letter which discusses whether improvement districts, particularly in British Columbia, would be considered municipal or public bodies performing a function of government for the purpose of paragraph 149(1)(c) and therefore able to issue donation receipts as a qualified donee. CRA determined that improvement districts could qualify as a municipal or public body performing a function of government because they have a governance function, and exercise powers similar to those of municipalities (whether providing one or several services to the public).  Here is a copy of the full CRA letter.  

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October 17, 2016

Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2014 to be released

On October 28, 2016 at the Blumbergs' Charity Law Institute we will be presenting the results of the Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2014 including how the numbers have changed between 2011 and 2014.  

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October 17, 2016

The Foundation Payout Debate at Arnova in Washington

I am pleased to be on a panel at Arnova in Washington entitled "The Foundation Payout Debate: Comparative Perspectives on Distribution, Perpetuity and the Role of Foundations".

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October 16, 2016

Institute of Corporate Directors Collaboration for Greater Impact - November 22, 2016

I am looking forward to presenting at the upcoming ICD session Collaboration for Greater Impact on November 22, 2016.  The panel will include Rahul Bhardwaj (CEO ICD), Joanne Doyle (UWTYR), Donna Duncan (CEO The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre), Ian Smith (Chair The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre) and myself.  My role on the panel will be to deal with legal aspects of mergers and amalgamations.  

October 15, 2016

CRA Q&A on Charity Sector regulation and political activities

Here is a CRA Questions and Answers on Charity Sector regulation and political activities from 2012 that was obtained through access to information.  It discusses the Charities Directorate's role, strategic priorities, how charities will be selected for audit, and other matters.

October 08, 2016

Draft CRA Communications Strategy in January 2013 on charities and political activities

Here is the Draft CRA Communications Strategy from January 2013 on charities and political activities. The comms strategy discusses CRA's response to the 2012 Federal Budget changes affecting Canadian charities and political activities.    

October 08, 2016

A quick introduction to CharityData.ca from Mark Blumberg

Blumbergs has created a very interesting new website called CharityData.ca.   Here is a short video which provides an overview of this powerful tool with information on over 86,000 Canadian registered charities with up to 10 years historical information on each registered charity. This tool will be particularly important for donors, funders, journalists, volunteers, those staff responsible for financial management and regulators.

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October 04, 2016

Imagine Canada’s Sector Monitor on Political Activities by Canadian charities 2016

Imagine Canada has put out a very interesting report on a survey of Canadian charities and their answers relating to political activities.  The Sector Monitor report is prepared by David Lasby of Imagine Canada and is well worth reading.  One of the conclusions was "Likelihood of reporting negative effects increased with intensity of engagement in public policy. However, while negative effects are common, this does not appear to have resulted in decreased engagement in public policy."

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October 03, 2016

List of low-cost housing corporations for the aged registered as qualified donees

There is a small category of qualified donees i.e. those that can issue an official donation receipt called "List of low-cost housing corporations for the aged registered as qualified donees".  Currently there are only 2 listed organizations namely St. Mark's Maples Court in Port Hope, Ontario and Villa Beaurepaire in Beaconsfield, Quebec.

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October 01, 2016

CRA critical path, process + performance measurement framework for charity political activity audits

Here is a copy of a few documents from the Charities Directorate dealing with the political activities audit conducted by the CRA.   CRA released under access to information, their critical path, process and performance measurement framework for charity political activity audits.  If you want more information about charities and political activities see our web directory Political Activities and Canadian charities.

September 30, 2016

List of foreign charities that have received a gift from Canada and are qualified donees

Currently there are only two organizations on the "List of foreign charities that have received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada".   They are the Aga Khan Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, both of which were off the list and now are on again.  No rhyme or reason why these groups are picked out of millions of foreign ngos.  Meanwhile Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, The Rhodes Trust, and the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation are no longer on the list. Seriously this list needs a rethink and greater transparency.  

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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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