What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA

June 24, 2016

Lack of transparency continues when the Canadian government makes a gift to a foreign charity

On the CRA website there is a list of foreign charities that received a gift from the Canadian government.  CRA has just released a new Guidance CG - 023 Qualified donee: Foreign charities that have received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada which discusses how foreign charities are placed on the list.

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June 18, 2016

CBC “Charity tax fraud to cost brothers their freedom”

The CBC in an article entitled "Charity tax fraud to cost brothers their freedom" how to brothers were each sentenced to over 4 years for being involved in charity fraud over nearly $5 million. It shows how the CRA is increasingly using criminal convictions instead of just revocations.  The judge described the fraud as "industrial scale".   The article notes "The total number of false claims over the life of the scheme was more than 1,700 for a purported $11.4 million of alleged donations." Keep in mind that this was only issuing $5 million in fraudulent receipts which is a tiny tiny amount compared to some other schemes out there.

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June 17, 2016

CRA releases new online registered charity information request forms that will increase transparency

CRA recently released two new online registered charity information request forms which have been created to simplify the process when requesting certain types of information from CRA.  Previously this information was typically requested by sending a letter/fax to CRA.  Now it can be done online.  This is a giant step forward in making it easier for Canadians to be able to access public information from the CRA's Charities Directorate on Canadian registered charities. 

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May 30, 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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May 27, 2016

AFP Toronto Fundraising Day:  The Time is Now: Government Relations for Canadian Charities

I am pleased to be on a panel for AFP GTA Fundraising Day with Caroline Riseboro, Bruce MacDonald, Hilary Pearson, and Stewart Wong.  The topic of the panel will be "The Time is Now: Government Relations for Canadian Charities".

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May 26, 2016

CRA letter on donation of capital property and donation receipt

CRA recently released a letter which discusses whether an official receipt issued for property donated in kind can include an amount less than the fair market value of the property.  CRA cited section 3501 of the Income Tax Act (Canada) Regulations to confirm that an official donation receipt should include the amount of the fair market value or the deemed fair market value of the property, in certain circumstances.  

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May 25, 2016

Total revenue received from all sources outside Canada by Canadian Registered Charities in 2014

Here is our article "Total revenue received from all sources outside Canada by Canadian Registered Charities in 2014".  It provides a list of Canadian charities that received foreign income in their 2014 fiscal year.  Foreign income for Canadian charities has risen to $1.8 billion - making it an important and growing source of revenue for Canadian charities.  

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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 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 09, 2016

CPA Ontario Not-for-Profit and Charity Finance Leadership Certificate Program

Mark Blumberg will be presenting to the CPA Ontario Not-for-Profit and Charity Finance Leadership Certificate Program on June 6, 2016 on legal issues affecting the non-profit sector.

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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 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 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 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 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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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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