News

January 27, 2015

Dominion Nickel Investments Ltd v. The Queen - redaction and Banyan Tree Foundation receipting

In  the case of Dominion Nickel Investments Ltd v. The Queen, 2015 TCC 14 (CanLII) it deals with a motion on CRA disclosure and the extent to which CRA is allowed to redact certain information when it discloses the information as part of a court proceeding.   The actual case deals with "[14]      According to the appellant, it acquired and then wound up another corporation. As a result, the appellant says that by the operation of section 88 of the Income Tax Act, it became entitled to claim a deduction in respect of a charitable donation of $65 million made to the Banyan Tree Foundation by the corporation it acquired. The deduction was claimed in its 2004 taxation year. The Minister of National Revenue subsequently reassessed to disallow the claimed deduction."

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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!"

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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.

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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: 

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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.

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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".

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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.  

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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.

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January 04, 2015

US GAO report on tax exempt organizations in the US

The US GAO has issued a report entitled "Tax-exempt organizations: Better Compliance Indicators and Data, and More Collaboration with State Regulators Would Strengthen Oversight of Charitable Organizations".  The report provides an overview of the US tax exempt/non-profit sector and also discusses improving transparency and sharing with state regulators to have better regulation of non-profits.  The report provides some interesting statistcics on US tax exempt organizations.

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Topics: News

December 19, 2014

CBC article “Holiday giving? Don’t pick a charity by financial statements alone”

CBC discusses charitable giving in an article entitled "Holiday giving? Don't pick a charity by financial statements alone: Research, volunteer and donate directly if you want to give smart this holiday season".

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.   

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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).

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December 03, 2014

Tidal wave of false receipting cases from Tax Court of Canada

Tax Court of Canada has released a number of judgements dealing with false receipting this week.  The cases all relate to a scheme in Vancouver involving the issuance of approximately $12 million in false receipts.  The cases of Azim Bani (2012-35421(IT)I, Jose Vekkal (2013-882(IT)I), Remmy Vekkal (2013-883(IT)I), Martin Izkendar (2013-220(IT)I), Ruben Nocon (2013-635(IT)I), Iraj Rasuli (2013-886(IT)I), Khorshid Rasuli (2013-887(IT)I), Ladan Abootaleby-Pour (2013‑1779(IT)I) and Oleg Komarynsky (2013-3354(IT)I) all related to this scheme.  In one case for example it notes that CRA "alleges that the Appellant purchased false charitable donation receipts from his accountants, Fareed Raza and Saheem Raza (the “Raza Brothers”). The Raza Brothers provided accounting and tax services under the trade names Fareed Raza & Co. Inc. and F & A Accounting Corporation (“FA”). The Raza Brothers were charged with fraud for making false statements on income tax returns prepared by them for their clients."  The Tax Court of Canada disallowed these false receipts.  

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December 01, 2014

Mark speaking on planned giving at 2nd Elderly Client Conference

Mark Blumberg will be speaking on "Planned Giving and the Elderly Client" conference on January 23, 2015

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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."

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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?"

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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"

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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.  

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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"

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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.  

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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".  

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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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