Global Giving

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.

read more

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 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.

read more

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.

read more

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.

read more

Topics: News | Global Giving

January 10, 2016

Which Canadian charities spent the most outside of Canada in 2013

December 12, 2015

Some thoughts on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and CBC’s The Exchange

I had the pleasure of being on The Exchange on CBC on December 11, 2015 to discuss the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative ("CZI") with Bruce MacDonald, CEO of Imagine Canada.   You can watch the segment of The Agenda here (at approximately 18:35).

read more

Topics: News | Global Giving

November 26, 2015

Charity Commission faces further cuts as a result of budget “freeze”

The Charity Commission announced that its funding has been frozen until 2020.  The Charity Commission has already lost half of its budget over the last few years and with this freeze the budget is actually decreasing every year as a result of inflation.  The Conservative government in the UK has done a great job of undermining one of the most important charity regulators.  

read more

Topics: News | Global Giving

November 01, 2015

List of registered foreign charitable organizations that received a gift from Canada down to 2

There is a small category of qualified donees called "registered foreign charitable organizations that have received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada".  Qualified donees are groups that can issue official donation receipts under the Income Tax Act (Canada) and can also receive gifts from other qualified donees such as registered charities.  There were only 3 groups on this list but recently the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars was dropped from the list.  So we are now down to 2 foreign groups on the list.   

read more

November 01, 2015

“Nonprofits Proliferate but Not the Regulators, Says Report” cited in Chronicle of Philanthropy

In the US there has been a dramatic increase in the number of non-profits over the last few years.  The Chronicle of Philanthropy has written a short article citing a forthcoming report which outlines how state regulators have not increased their capacity which effectively means that there is far less oversight of US charities.  Apparently 53% of state regulators have not increased their staffing levels since 2008 and about 13 percent have decreased them.  The IRS is also in a state of "paralysis" when it comes to regulating charities.  

read more

Topics: News | Global Giving

October 09, 2015

CRA letters to Trinity Global Support Foundation on reasons for revocation

The Trinity Global Support Foundation was recently revoked.   It received some media attention because of the involvement of the former mayor of London, Ontario in the charity.  Here are the letters from CRA explaining the detailed reasons for revocation of Trinity Global Support Foundation.  We blogged on this charity before at "CRA revokes Trinity Global Support Foundation as a charity" and "FCA case on Trinity Global Support Foundation - CRA wins again"

read more

October 09, 2015

CRA letters to Canadian Friends of Pearl Children about reasons for revocation

CRA recently revoked the registration of Canadian Friends of Pearl Children.   Here are the CRA letters to the charity.  According to CRA the organization issued over $167 million in inappropriate official donation receipts.  On July 20, 2015 I blogged about the revocation of Canadian Friends of Pearl Children.  

read more

October 08, 2015

Recent CRA letters of revocation for Canadian registered charities

Here are the CRA letters from a number of recent Canadian registered charity revocations, annulments and penalties.  These letters from CRA cover many different grounds for de-registration or the imposition of penalties.   

read more

October 08, 2015

Charity Commission guidance on trustees/directors and abusive tax schemes.

The Charity Commission of England and Wales has published a useful guidance entitled "Charity tax reliefs: guidance on Charity Commission policy".

read more

Topics: News | Global Giving

October 08, 2015

Canadian Charity Case Law

We are compiling a list of Canadian cases dealing with charities, gifting and related issues.  Let us know if you have any other suggestions:

read more

July 30, 2015

Public Television Assoc. of Quebec v. CRA - confirms CRA guidance and direction and control rules

In a recent decision of the Federal Court of Appeal Public Television Association of Quebec v. Canada (National Revenue), 2015 FCA 170 the court dealt with funding by a Canadian registered charity of a US charity.  There have been 3 earlier cases dealing with foreign activities and direction and control and this case confirmed the same rules and CRA's important guidance on the subject.  The FCA upheld the revocation of the PTAQ because it was acting as a conduit and making gifts to a non-qualified donee.  There is a good discussion of what is a conduit and how this particular fact situation is a conduit. 

read more

July 20, 2015

CRA revokes the registration of the Canadian Friends of Pearl Children

The CRA has revoked the Canadian Friends of Pearl Children for involvement with what CRA would term an abusive charity gifting tax scheme.  

read more

June 28, 2015

Remittances and the 2015 Federal Budget

I was pleased to see in the Federal budget some funds allocated to study and improve the system of remittances from Canada to developing countries.  In my blog on the day of the Federal Budget entitled 2015 Federal Budget and its Impact on Canadian Charities I briefly touched on remittances.  I have been writing about remittances since 2007 and in 2013 I had made a proposal to Finance on remittances and I am glad to see that there will be greater attention paid to this important mechanism.  

read more

Topics: News | Global Giving | CIDA

June 16, 2015

The Hudson Institute’s Index of Philanthropic Freedom 2015 - flawed but interesting

The Hudson Institute has recently released The Index of Philanthropic Freedom 2015.  The survey looked at 64 countries and “Through these expert opinion surveys, in-depth information was collected on three main indicators: 1) ease of registering and operating civil society organizations; 2) tax policies for deductions, credits, and exemptions; and, 3) ease of sending and receiving cash and in-kind goods across borders.” Canada scored 4th in total score amongst the 64 countries. 

read more

May 31, 2015

CRA presentation to Finance Committee on terrorism

On March 26, 2015, Rick Stewart, Assistant Commissioner, Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch, of the Canada Revenue Agency, made a presentation to the Finance Committee on terrorism.  

read more

May 28, 2015

IRS determination letter summarizes rules for US discretion and control with foreign activities

Recently the IRS has released an adverse determination letter dealing with discretion and control over grants to foreign organizations by an "American Friends of ..." organization.  What is interesting, but certainly not new, is the US requirements for "discretion and control" by "American Friends of" which are similar, but not identical to the Canadian requirements for "direction and control" that are discussed in the CRA Guidance CG-002, Canadian Registered Charities Carrying Out Activities Outside Canada.  The IRS essentially argued that the 501(c)(3) was acting as a conduit and revoked its status.

read more

May 23, 2015

Canadian Charities Conducting International Activities (2015)

Here is an article entitled Canadian Charities Conducting International Activities (2015). It will be of interest to Canadian charities that are, or considering, operating outside of Canada.

May 21, 2015

Fundamentals of International Activities by Canadian Registered Charities

Over 5000 Canadian registered charities operate outside of Canada and they cumulatively spend around $3 billion per year on foreign activities.  The Fundamentals of International Activities by Canadian Registered Charities is a 1/2 day presentation with charity lawyer Mark Blumberg which discusses international activities by Canadian charities and related regulatory issues.  The first Fundamentals of International Activities by Canadian Registered Charities will be held on Tuesday September 22, 2015 from 1PM-4PM. Some charities operating abroad are not aware of, or compliant with, their legal requirements and foreign activities has been an area that has been scrutinized by CRA in its audits and can result in revocation of charitable status if the rules are not followed.

read more

May 18, 2015

Court decides former registered charity IRFAN cannot use funds to pay further legal costs

In a decision on April 9, 2015 in the Federal court The Honourable Madam Justice Mactavish dealt with an issue of whether The International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (Canada) ("IRFAN") could use funds to pay past and future legal costs.   IRFAN used to be a registered charity and then lost its charitable status and finally was in April 2014 added as a listed terrorist entity.   Such listing effectively freezes the assets of IRFAN.   IRFAN was alleged to have provided resources to Hamas, which is a listed terrorist organization.   

read more

March 11, 2015

Article “Aid Barriers and the Rise of Philanthropic Protectionism” by Doug Rutzen

Doug Rutzen of ICNL has published an interesting article entitled Aid Barriers and the Rise of Philanthropic Protectionism.  The article is an updated version of an earlier article entitled "Regulation or Repression: Government Policing of Cross Border Charity,”  

read more

Topics: News | Global Giving

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: January 2016