Canadian Charity Law

January 23, 2015

ONN webinar “Advocacy and Political Activities: Busting myths and misconceptions!”

On February 11 I will be delivering a webinar for the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) entitled "Advocacy and Political Activities: Busting myths and misconceptions!"

read more

January 23, 2015

Note from Marni Soupcoff of the Canadian Constitution Foundation on the Broadbent Institute Report

I received an email from Marni Soupcoff of the Canadian Constitution Foundation.  She discusses the narrative that supposedly no "right-leaning" groups are being audited for political activities.  I thought I would share it.

read more

January 21, 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 reigister is provided below: 

read more

January 16, 2015

Accessibility for Ontarions with Disabilities Act (“AODA”)

Non-profits and charities should be aware of their potential obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the "AODA"). The AODA was introduced in 2005 to establish accessibility requirements and standards for employers and  providers of goods and services. Requirements under this Act will continue to be phased in for the next 5-6 years.

read more

January 15, 2015

Fundamentals of Receipting by Canadian Charities

Properly issuing official donation receipts has been challenging for many registered charities.  According to the CRA, 89% of registered charities that are audited are not correctly issuing official donation receipts.  Issuing incorrect receipts can result in revocation or penalties. It is easier to do it right than fix problems later! Here is a new half-day program from Blumbergs entitled "Fundamentals of Receipting by Canadian Charities".

read more

January 15, 2015

Fundamentals of Employment Law for Charities and Non-Profits

Blumbergs will be holding a half-day seminar on May13, 2015, Fundamentals of Employment Law for Charities and Non-Profits from 9AM-12PM.  

read more

January 15, 2015

CASL provisions for installing computer programs come into effect today, January 15, 2015

Starting January 15, 2015, the CASL provisions pertaining to the installation of computer programs come into effect. These new provisions require persons who install software or computer programs on another person’s computer system, in the course of commercial activity, to obtain express consent from those other persons. Persons who do not comply with these new provisions could face some hefty fines.

read more

January 06, 2015

New Webinar for the Canadian Charity Law Association

The Canadian Charity Law Association will be delivering a webinar entitled "Business and social enterprise for charities" on January 26 at 12:00 PM EDT.

read more

December 15, 2014

Industry Canada has sent out 16,000 notices of pending dissolution to 6000 Federal non-profits

Over the last 6 weeks Corporations Canada of Industry Canada has sent out an estimated 16,000 notices to approximately 6000 Canadian Federal non-profit corporations that are still under the Canada Corporations Act (CCA)  Industry Canada sends notices to the corporation and to each director.  They also publish the names of the corporations online.

read more

December 14, 2014

Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act, 2014 in Ontario has passed.

We have discussed on this blog the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act, 2014 (the "Act"). The Act has now been passed on December 9, 2014 and received Royal Assent on December 11, 2014.   It will be interesting to see the effect of this Act on non-profits and charities in Ontario.

read more

December 13, 2014

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2015

We are looking forward to presenting the Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2015 on April 14, 2015.   For information or to register see: Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2015

December 13, 2014

CRA revokes registration of Ecotecture: Centre for Ecological Art and Architecture

The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency has revoked the charitable registration of Ecotecture: Centre for Ecological Art and Architecture for its involvement in a scheme known as the Via Project or Vintage Iconic Archives.   The former registered charity had issued over $200 million in receipts.  

read more

December 05, 2014

Notice of Pending Dissolution from Industry Canada

Here is a Notice of Pending Dissolution from Industry Canada that we recently reviewed.  Industry Canada will be sending out thousands of these over the next few months.   

read more

December 04, 2014

Changes to the Directors’ Information listed on Corporations Canada’s website

For a number of months Corporations Canada of Industry Canada has provided more director information on their website with respect to Federal non-profit Corporations under the Canada Corporations Act (“CCA”) and new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”). Previously, the list of directors (and their addresses) was excluded from the free corporate information provided on Corporations Canada’s website.  However, the public was able to access this director information by filing a request with Corporations Canada (a fee per page was being charged and you had to provide a credit card for the $1-$2 charge which is cumbersome).

read more

November 28, 2014

Problem of abusive charity gifting tax schemes is even greater than thought

I just read this CRA FAQ with the latest numbers on abusive gifting charity tax shelters.  "As of March 31, 2014, the CRA has denied more than $6.3 billion in donation claims and reassessed over 190,000 taxpayers who participated in these gifting tax shelters. The CRA has also assessed more than $162 million in third party penalties against promoters and tax preparers."

read more

November 27, 2014

Which Canadian registered charities spent the most on political activities in 2013?

CRA has posted the T3010 Registered Charity Information Returns for 82,000 of the 86,000 Canadian registered charities.   About 477 Canadian registered charities identified conducting political activities whether by volunteer, staff or spending funds. Here is a link to our article "Which charities spent the most on political activities in 2013?"

read more

November 27, 2014

Mark to present a workshop at 12th Annual Foundation, Endowment & Not For Profit Investment Summit

Mark Blumberg and Brad Offman will be presenting a workshop on "Overcome Operational and Legal Challenges to Endowment Management"

read more

November 26, 2014

CBC story on “Canada Revenue Agency privacy breach leaks prominent Canadians’ tax details”

The CBC has disclosed that CRA had provided them with a list of private information on taxpayers who had applied for certain tax benefits as a result of donating cultural property through the Cultural Property Export Review Board.   Disclosure of confidential taxpayer information is a serious issue and CRA has released a statement apologizing for the laps and confirming that the CRA will contact each of the taxpayers who were affected. This disclosure appears to be accidental and a mistake on CRA's part.  

read more

November 26, 2014

CRA puts out another warning about abusive charity gifting tax shelters

CRA has put up another reminder to Canadians about abusive charity gifting tax shelters.  The tiltle is "Warning: be cautious if you are thinking of participating in a gifting tax shelter schemes"

read more

November 24, 2014

CRA adds another US charity to list of qualified donees that received gift from Canada

As we have noted before the "List of registered foreign charitable organizations that have received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada" had lost all of its charities.  Then the "Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation" was added and now the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has been added.  Both were previously on the list.  

read more

November 22, 2014

Humanics Institute v. MNR - refusal to register charity that claims to advance religion

The Federal Court of Appeal recently heard a case dealing with an organization that had applied for charitable status and been denied by the Charities Directorate of CRA.   There were a number of grounds for refusal including that "the plan to build and maintain a sanctuary and sculpture park, would not advance religion or education in the charitable sense." The FCA did not accept the appellant organization's arguments that the decision was "unreasonable, procedurally unfair, and in violation of sections 2(a), 2(b), and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms".  

read more

November 13, 2014

Industry Canada has started sending out notices of dissolution to Federal Non-profits

Industry Canada has started the long and arduous process of notifying corporations under the Canada Corporations Act that have NOT continued to the CNCA that they will be dissolved.  Industry Canada has sent notices of pending dissolution to the CCA corporations.  Industry Canada's Monthly Transactions for November include a list of which corporations have received such notices of pending dissolution.

read more

November 12, 2014

Ford v. Canada -what is “with all due dispatch” when dealing with a CRA reassessment

Ian Ford and Norma Ford appealed a Tax Court of Canada 2014 decision relating to taxation years going back to around 1999 -2001.    The decision notes that "Ian Ford and Norma Ford participated in an art donation program operated by Canadian Art Advisory Services. They purchased pieces of art for a particular price and then donated the art to a charity. For each donation they received a receipt for an amount that exceeded the amount that they paid for the art." Needless to say CRA did not accept the valuation and donation receipts.   CRA assessed the Fords in 2002 and then reassessed them in 2012.  The Fords argued that it was unfair that the reassessment happened so many years after the transaction.  The FCA did not agree.  The interesting part was that the legal arguments the Fords were making would have actually increased their taxes!    

read more

November 11, 2014

Bill 8, Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014 - Ontario to cap salaries

Here is a copy of Ontario Bill 8, Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014. Of particular concern is the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act, 2014 (the "Act").  According to the act, "The purpose of this Act is to manage executive compensation in the broader public sector by authorizing the establishment of compensation frameworks applicable to designated employers and designated executives."  The act applies to hospitals, boards of education, universities, colleges, other post-secondary institutions, community care access corporations to name a few and also any other board, council, corporation, foundation or organization that is prescribed Ontario government. It does not apply to for-profit corporations. The Act only applies to "designated executives" who make cash compensation of $100,000 or more.  It does not apply to unionized employees.  The Ontario government may provide directives requiring disclosure of salaries, bonuses, incentive plans, allowances, agreements, compensation policies and compensation studies to name but some of the items.  

read more

November 09, 2014

Ontario Corporations Don’t Need to Wait for the ONCA - Continuing from the OCA to the Federal CNCA

Here is a recent article from Mark Blumberg and Kate Robertson entitled Ontario Corporations Don't Need to Wait for the ONCA - Continuing from the OCA to Federal Jurisdiction.  For many Ontario corporations who don't want to wait for the ONCA which may or may not come into force in 2016, or want to carry out governance changes now, a continuance from Ontario to Federal may be an appealing option.

read more

Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?

Contact

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
Download vCard

Connect

Locate

Blumberg Segal LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
#1202 - 390 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 2Y2 Canada

Charity Law List

Join Blumbergs' non-profit and charities newsletter
View recent issue: December 2014