Canadian Charity Law

May 25, 2016

Fundamentals of Employment Law for Charities and Non-Profits 2016

Blumbergs will be holding a half-day seminar on Tuesday June 21, 2016, Fundamentals of Employment Law for Charities and Non-Profits from 1PM-4PM.  You can register here

May 25, 2016

Recent Changes to the Regulation of Charitable Activities in China

Blumbergs and the OCIC will be hosting a program on June 21, 2016 entitled "Recent Changes to the Regulation of Charitable Activities in China that will affect Chinese and Canadian charities".  You can register here.  It will feature Prof. Mark Sidel, Consultant for Asia at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) and Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Mark Sidel has worked on nonprofit and philanthropic regulatory developments in China for nearly thirty years, and has worked in China for more than four decades. He will outline these recent developments, discuss their implications, and answer questions.

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May 22, 2016

Industry Canada sends out thousands of final notices of pending dissolution to Federal CCA NPOs

Industry Canada has sent out notices to thousands of Canada Corporations Act (CCA) corporations warning them of their pending dissolution as they have failed to transition to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”). Industry Canada wants to wind down the CCA and in order to do so they need to remove all remaining corporations under the CCA.  It appears that up to 2000 of such corporations may be registered charities.  Industry Canada had generally held off sending the notices to registered charities but the transition deadline of October 2014 is now over 1.5 years old.  

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May 22, 2016

Another poorly thought through Canadian private members bill that affects the charity sector

A Canadian private members bill, introduced by MP Ted Falk, would change the tax credit for donations to charities.  It is called the Fairness in Charitable Gifts Act- Bill C-239.  Malcolm Burrows recently wrote a very useful critique of this poorly thought through piece of legislation. Essentially the idea behind the proposal is to match the incentive for charitable donations to those offered for political donations.  However, unlike political donations which have very low caps and therefore the tax benefits are very limited, there will be no limit on the tax benefits that donors to charities receive under this bill. 

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May 18, 2016

CRA information on assisting people and charities impacted by the wildfires in Alberta

The Canada Revenue Agency ('CRA') recently published a Question and Answer piece on its website which provides information on providing assistance to people impacted by the wildfires in Alberta and information for registered charities that may have been impacted by the wildfires or would like to provide assistance.  Here is the CRA link: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/whtsnw/frtmcmrry-qstns-nswrs-eng.html?utm_source=charities&utm_medium=eml

May 10, 2016

CRA letter on tribal council qualifying as a public body performing a function of government

CRA recently released a letter which considers whether a Tribal Council should be considered a public body performing a function of government within the meaning of paragraph 149(1)(c).  

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May 10, 2016

Application for leave to appeal denied by SCC in Ray Castro v. Her Majesty the Queen

We have previously blogged about the decision of the Tax Court of Canada in David, R. et al. v. the Queen (TCC) (herehere and here).  In the previous decision of Canada v. Castro, 2015 FCA 225, the Minister appealed the decision in David v. The Queen by asserting that the Tax Court of Canada erred in law.

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May 04, 2016

New CRA guidance on low-cost housing corporations for the aged seeking QD status

CRA recently released a new guidance which provides information for low-cost housing corporations for the aged which are interested in becoming Qualified Donees.  The guidance replaces the Income Tax Rulings Directorate letter dated March 18, 2013.  

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May 03, 2016

Top Fallacies about Private Foundations in Canada

Here is a recent article written by Mark Blumberg, Kate Robertson and Lynn Gluckman of Blumberg Segal LLP on the Top Fallacies about private foundations in Canada.  The article discusses incorrect misconceptions that many people have about private foundations.  This article was also published as a two-part series by the Hillborn Charity eNews on April 19th, 2016 and April 26, 2016.   

April 28, 2016

Upcoming Webinars for the Canadian Charity Law Association

The Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars.  Registration is free but space is limited. 

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April 27, 2016

Top Fallacies about Private Foundations in Canada - Part two

The Hillborn Charity eNews just published the second part of our article Top fallacies about private foundations in Canada.  It discusses numerous incorrect preconceptions that people have about private foundations.  

April 27, 2016

CRA notice for 2015 T3010 filings to add question related to partnership holdings

CRA has been sending out notices relating to the 2015 T3010 Registered Charity Information Return asking that a one page form entitled "New Reporting Requirement" be added to a registered charity's 2015 T3010 filing.  The notice essentially asks the question "Did the charity have direct partnership holdings at any time during the fiscal period?" and CRA has already included that question in the 2016 T3010 under question C15 but it was not included in the 2015 T3010. 

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April 25, 2016

High Court rules Cup Trust Gift Aid claim can be withdrawn

In the Cup Trust case there was an abusive scheme run by a charity and controlled by a trustee, Mountstar.  The Mountstar trustee was replaced by an interim manager appointed to take over the affairs of the charity.  The interim manager decided that they did not want to pursue litigation relating to a Gift Aid claim.  The organizers of the scheme (Mountstar) wanted the charity to continue litigation and were prepared to pay for its costs.  The High Court in the UK decided that charities should not be involved in speculative litigation and that it was acceptable for the interim manager to withdraw the Gift Aid claim.  

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April 23, 2016

Top fallacies about private foundations in Canada – Part one

The Hillborn Charity eNews just published the first part of our article Top fallacies about private foundations in Canada.  It discusses numerous incorrect preconceptions that people have about private foundations.  

April 21, 2016

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2016 - save the date!

The Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Institute 2016 will be held on Friday October 28, 2016 at Oakham House in Toronto.  Agenda and registration information to follow.  

April 18, 2016

Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement limited partnership investments

The Department of Finance has released the "Notice of Ways and Means Motion to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 22, 2016 and other measures and Explanatory Notes".  Of particular interest to some within the charitable sector is the Department of Finance changing the ITA to allow private foundations and other registered charities to invest in limited partnerships as of April 2015. 

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April 17, 2016

CRA revoking charities that are dissolved - is your charity active or dissolved?

I recently reviewed the CRA Charities Listing.  It appears that 62 charities have been revoked by CRA over the past 4 years purely because they had been dissolved under their corporate legislation.  The search is for "Revoked - Other" on the CRA database.  Although CRA presumably gave notice to these groups that they need to obtain revivals of their corporate status it seems that these groups did not undertake that process.  What we can learn from this is that you can lose your charity status if your charity is a corporation and it is dissolved.  You should check whether your charity is dissolved or active.  

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April 15, 2016

Strengthening Foundation Governance: Current Issues, Challenges and Solutions

April 14, 2016

Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Canadian Charity Sector 2014

We have just released the Blumbergs' Snapshot of the Canadian Charity Sector 2014 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project.  This is the fifth snapshot provided by Blumbergs of the Canadian charity sector. The database covers about 84,500 of the 86,000 registered charities in Canada that had filed their T3010 for the 2014 year and were processed into CRA’s Charity Listing database by February 2016. 

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April 13, 2016

Canadian registered charities no longer required to register as a charity in Quebec

As a result of the 2016 Quebec Budget, Canadian registered charities are no longer required to complete a separate charitable registration in Quebec in order to be able to issue tax receipts to donors in Quebec.

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April 12, 2016

Latest update on CNCA continuances and dissolutions from Corporations Canada

We recently contacted Corporations Canada regarding the updated statistics on continuances and dissolutions under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act ('CNCA').  Apparently in March there has been an increasing number of entities that have transitioned to the CNCA.  Here are the current figures: 

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April 11, 2016

The Non-Profit Organization Risk Identification Project (NPORIP) Report - finally released

In June 2014, which is almost 2 years ago, I put in a request to CRA to receive a copy of certain information on the Non-Profit Organization Risk Identification Project (NPORIP).  On April 11, 2016, I received over 220 pages of documents from CRA on the NPORIP.  The NPORIP was a major initiative by the Federal government to look at the approximately 80,000 -100,000 organizations that are non-profits but not registered charities.  As they say better late than never.   

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April 10, 2016

Does CRA provide reminders to Canadian registered charities to file their T3010 annual return?

The CRA provides numerous reminders to charities to file the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return.  There used to be 2000 Canadian charities that did not file their T3010 and were revoked for non-filing.  As a result of the vigilant system CRA has reduced the typical number of charities not filing their T3010 to approximately 600 per year. 

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April 10, 2016

Opportunities for the Disabled Foundation v. The Queen (FCA) - charity revoked

The Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal from the Opportunities for the Disabled Foundation v. The Queen (FCA).

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April 08, 2016

Charities and non-profits may need to register in Alberta for charitable fundraising

Many non-profits and charities are not aware of the charitable fundraising regulations in Alberta. If a non-profit or charity is fundraising in Alberta and meets specific criteria under the Charitable Fundraising Act (the 'Act'), it may need to be registered. Generally, if a Canadian non-profit or charity intends to raise or raises more than $25,000 in Alberta from individuals in a financial year then the non-profit or charity would need to register under the Act.

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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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