Blog

February 27, 2016

Ontario 2016 budget analysis from the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN)

The ONN has released a review of the Ontario 2016 provincial budget.  It covers many changes that affect the non-profit sector and society.  Here is a link to the actual Ontario 2016 Budget.  I did not see any references to ONCA.

Topics: News

February 26, 2016

Recent FCA decision dismisses appeal regarding revocation of Jaamiah Al Uloom Al Islamiyyah Ontario

The federal court of appeal recently dismissed an appeal by Jaamiah Al Uloom Al Islamiyyah Ontario, a Canadian registered charity that was revoked by CRA for non-compliance.

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February 24, 2016

Sign up to our informative and complimentary charity law newsletter

Every month or so we send out a newsletter with highlights of developments over the last month affecting non-profits and charities.   It is a useful tool to keep your organization, your staff and board members up-to-date on developments affecting non-profits and charities and special offers from our firm.  Here is a link to sign up to the Blumbergs' Charity Law Newsletter.   Also if you are on Twitter you can follow @canadiancharity for additional updates.

February 23, 2016

Foreign Universities Applying for Prescribed University Status in Canada

Here is an article by Kate Robertson and Mark Blumberg on "Foreign Universities Applying for Prescribed University Status in Canada".  It may be helpful for foreign universities that are looking to fundraise in Canada.  

February 23, 2016

Should a registered charity issue an official donation receipt for gifts from a qualified donee

We get this question often.   If a registered charity receives funds from a qualified donee then it should not issue an official donation receipt.  For example a private foundation sends your registered charity a cheque for $10,000.00.   Do you issue them an official donation receipt?  The answer is no.

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February 18, 2016

CRA letter on acceptable uses of accumulated surplus by an NPO

CRA recently released a letter which discusses acceptable uses of an accumulated surplus by a non-profit organization and whether a benefit to members could result from the use of an accumulated surplus under various scenarios. 

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February 18, 2016

CRA letter on qualifying as a municipal/public body performing a function of government

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether amendments to the method of appointing the Board of Directors for an existing municipal/public body performing a function of government would change a previous ruling of the CRA that the Authority would qualify as a municipal or public body performing a function of government for purposes of 149(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act (Canada) and the definition of a qualified donee in subsection 149.1(1).  

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February 18, 2016

CRA releases updated T4033 guide for completing the annual Registered Charity Information Return

The Canada Revenue Agency ('CRA') recently released an updated guide, the T4033(E) Rev. 16, which assists Canadian registered charities with completing their Form T3010 (annual registered charity information return). Charities with a fiscal period ending on or after January 1, 2016 should use this guide to complete their annual information return with CRA. 

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February 13, 2016

CRA provides information on graduated rate estates and charitable donations

The CRA has provided some information on how estate donations will change in 2016.  Essentially the tax benefits for bequests and certain designations may increase as there is added flexibility as which income can be offset by the estate's charitable donation.  

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February 12, 2016

National Post - ‘Can I get a tax receipt?’: Tax confusion muddles Syrian refugee sponsorship efforts

On February 11, 2016, the National Post had an article entitled "‘Can I get a tax receipt?’: Tax confusion muddles Syrian refugee sponsorship efforts".  The article discusses some of the complexity around the current receipting rules and how they have created confusion for registered charities in certain cases when fundraising for Syrian refugees in Canada.  The National Post references a proposal that I have made to provide greater clarity to the rules.

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February 09, 2016

CRA updates webpages relating to charitable donations

CRA recently updated several of its webpages relating to charitable donations. 

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February 09, 2016

CRA letter on Clergy Residence Deduction

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether a school chaplain employed by a Catholic school board can claim the clergy residence deduction as per section 8(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act (Canada).  CRA had the following comments:

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February 04, 2016

CPA 2016 Not-for-Profit Financial Executive Forum - March 1-2, 2016

I am looking forward to attending and speaking at the CPA Canada Not-for-Profit Financial Executive Forum which is being held on March 1-2, 2016 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto.

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Topics: News

February 03, 2016

R. v. Raza, -using criminal courts to crackdown on charity fraud

There was recent case of R. v. Raza, 2015 BCSC 2512 (CanLII).  The three accused were tax preparers who were charged with fraud for allegedly being involved with the issuance of false donation receipts. 

January 28, 2016

Sunny days for charities and political activities?  But lack of transparency results in some clouds

Here is an article "Sunny days for charities and political activities?  But lack of transparency results in some clouds" which discusses a recent press release from the Minister of National Revenue dealing with the charity political audit program.  

January 28, 2016

Canadian Charities Helping Syrian Refugees - some legal considerations

Here is an article "Canadian Charities Helping Syrian Refugees".  It may be helpful for some charities that wish to get involved in the Syria Crisis.

January 26, 2016

Blumbergs’ budget submission to Standing Committee on Finance

The Department of Finance has requested pre-budget submission.   Here is the Blumbergs' Pre-Budget Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and the Minister of Finance for the 2016 Federal budget.

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January 25, 2016

CRA adds guidance on “Assisting people affected by the conflict in Syria”

Many Canadian charities and donors wish to assist Syrian refugees and those affected by the conflict.  CRA has just released guidance to assist donors and charities understand their legal obligations.

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January 22, 2016

Corporations Canada releases Notice on Public Disclosure of Corporate Information

Corporations Canada recently released a notice on the public disclosure requirements relating to the corporate information that they collect as part of the services they provide for corporations. 

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January 21, 2016

Canada v. Scheuer, - CRA not responsible for bad shelters that have tax shelter numbers

In the recent case of Canada v. Scheuer, 2016 FCA 7 the Federal Court of Appeal sided with CRA.  A number of people who had invested in abusive tax shelter arrangements sued CRA because CRA had issued a tax shelter number.  The FCA concluded that CRA had no alternative but to issue the tax shelter number and such number does not mean that the tax shelter works. CRA does not have a duty to warn "investors" that a scheme like GLGI is suspect.  Although I might add that CRA does warn people not to invest in these schemes. Also the FCA suggested "the plaintiffs acknowledge that they received independent legal opinions, opinions from accountants and valuation appraisals in respect of the tax shelter. The issuers of such opinions, who benefited financially from the provision of their professional advice, are better placed to indemnify the plaintiffs in the event of negligence in the exercise of their professional responsibilities."   In other words the FCA is encouraging those who invested in these schemes to sue the lawyers, accountants and valuators who provided opinions and appraisals if they were negligent. 

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January 21, 2016

New reporting requirement for charities participating in partnerships

The CRA will be introducing a new reporting requirement for registered charities.  It is a short question relating to partnership holdings.  A charity should print the page and submit it with the T3010 filing.   Next year (2016 fiscal year) the question will be on the T3010 and not dealt with separately.  Seems a bit cumbersome that all charities must do this for the 2015 fiscal year when there are probably only a very small number who have partnership holdings. The questions is "Did the charity have direct partnership holdings at any time during the fiscal period?  Yes  No

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January 21, 2016

Liberals announces winding down of the political activities audit program for charities

Diane Lebouthillier, the new Minister of National Revenue has announced that the 2012 Conservative government initiative to audit more registered charities on the issue of political activities will be wound down.  There is a lot in the release and I will be writing more about it shortly.  

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January 19, 2016

Finance proposals to adjust deadline for donation by estate to charity from 3 years to 5 years

The Department of Finance has released Legislative Proposals Relating to Income Taxation of Certain Trusts and Estates.   There are a number of amendments to the Income Tax Act.   The Conservative government had previously provided greater flexibility with bequest donations so that the donation could be made by the individual or the estate.   However, there was a deadline of 36 months from the date of death.  It has now been extended to 60 months or 5 years.  

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January 19, 2016

Charity Village webinar “Top 20 Compliance Issues for Canadian Charities”

I will be presenting a webinar for Charity Village on January 28, 2016 on Top 20 Compliance Issues for Canadian Charities.

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January 17, 2016

Burkina Faso terrorist attack kills 6 Canadian volunteers on charity trip to build school

In a terrible incident 6 Canadian volunteers working with a Quebec based charity were killed in a terrorist attack in Burkina Faso.  The Canadian volunteers were there to build a school.  Apparently at least 28 people from 18 different countries were killed in the terrorist attack.  According to CBC, 4 of the volunteers were from the same family and the charity that they were volunteering with is Congrégation des sœurs de Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours.

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Topics: News | Global Giving

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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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