What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA

February 24, 2017

CRA has updated the T2050 form - Application to Register a Charity

The Canada Revenue Agency ('CRA') recently updated the T2050 form used by organizations when applying for charitable status with the Charities Directorate of the CRA. 

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February 13, 2017

Corporations Canada gives final final notice that non-profits must continue

A notice from Corporations Canada of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada) entitled "Last chance for not-for-profits to transition" has been sent out reminding non-profits that if they are still under the old Canada Corporations Act that they need to transition to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act or they will be dissolved.  The final final deadline is July 31, 2017 to have completed the process.  

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February 12, 2017

More CRA guidance on cause-related marketing by Canadian registered charities

The CRA has added a page on cause-related marketing page to the receipting part of their website.  The CRA seems largely concerned that in some cases no official donation receipt should be issued when there is a cause related marketing arrangement between a Canadian charity and a for-profit company.

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February 10, 2017

CRA has new Checklist Tool for charities applying to be a registered charity

If you are into technology and like to click things and then see those clicks magically be reflected in a newly generated page then you are going to love CRA's new Checklist Tool for Canadian registered charity applications.  It allows for lots of clicking. It also provides some useful information. Perhaps this new technological solution/format will be good for those who are not interested in reading CRA's Guide T4063, Registering a Charity for Income Tax Purposes.  Perhaps more charity applications will be better prepared and therefore require a less detailed CRA response. Perhaps this will result in faster charity processing times which now can range from 2 months to 12 months. As we have noted about ten days ago most charity applications are not being accepted by CRA.

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January 31, 2017

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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January 30, 2017

Terrorist attack at mosque in Quebec City claims 6 lives

On Sunday January 29, 2017 there was a terrible tragedy in Quebec City. A right-wing terrorist massacred six people praying at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec and injured almost 20 others.  This is the worst terrorist attack in Canada in over 25 years.

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January 29, 2017

What are the chances of your Canadian charity application succeeding?

In Canada, the Charities Directorate of CRA reviews carefully all registered charity applications.  Some of the latest statistics from the CRA show that most charities that apply for registration are not granted it.  It is not that these organizations are bad - but you have to meet all the criteria for a registered charity to be accepted by CRA.  While 1670 were accepted in 2015-16 fiscal year, many more received unfavarouble decisions.  Unlike the US in which the 501c3 application process appears to have been stripped down to almost nothing - here in Canada there is still a vigorous process to protect the integrity of the registered charity system.

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January 22, 2017

The second best Canadian registered charity transparency tool has been improved

In August 2016 we launched a website to improve transparency on Canadian registered charities.  It is at www.charitydata.ca  We have just made a number of improvements to the website.

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January 04, 2017

CRA’s Report on the Charities Program - useful information on the Canadian charity sector

The CRA released a report today entitled Report on the Charities Program.  It has lots of useful information on the charity sector, regulation of charities, statistics relating to the Charities Directorate and various new developments.  

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December 28, 2016

Ignorance isn’t bliss for large registered charities anymore as CRA focuses audits on them

CRA uses a risk based approach to deciding which charities are to be audited. CRA a few months ago announced they are adjusting their audit strategy to focus more on larger Canadian registered charities. I guess someone in the past might had thought that smaller organizations, many without any staff, might be less legally compliant and they should be focused on. I guess someone now at the Charities Directorate has worked out that larger organizations have a large amount of resources, generally a lot more complexity and are more likely to be non-compliant with the requirements of the Income Tax Act and such non-compliance could affect much larger amounts of resources.

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December 27, 2016

CRA closes consultation on political activities with a press release

The CRA has recently completed a 2 1/2 month consultation with Canadians on the ability of Canadian charities to conduct political activities. Here is the full text of the CRA press release on the closing of the political activity consultation on December 14, 2016:

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December 27, 2016

What is a “development project” and how can this add further flexibility to foreign activities

CRA's Guidance CG-002, Canadian Registered Charities Carrying Out Activities Outside Canada discusses a "development project".  The guidance provides Canadian registered charities greater leeway in certain instances when conducting a "development project" to be able to hand over capital assets and immovable assets to a foreign non-qualified donee.  I have always thought that a development project would be carried out in what is referred to as the Global South/Third World/Developing Countries (the "South") and would be trying to reduce poverty, promote education, improve the environment, or improve access to health care to provide some examples.

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December 27, 2016

CRA’s Alphabetical index of all policies and guidance

CRA has had an alphabetical index of all policies and guidance relating to charities.  This is a very helpful tool for charities wanting to see if CRA has a position on a particular issue.  The only problem with the list is that for a lay person they often do not know which guidance is related to the issue at hand and sometimes useful information is hidden in the appendix of a guidance.   Some of the material is also dated or picayune and not of much relevance to charities just wanting to operate with the legal requirements of the Income Tax Act.   

December 21, 2016

CRA releases new form for charities to change director, trustee, or like official information

The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently released a new form which allows charities to easily update CRA on any changes to their directors, trustees or like officials.  The Charities Directorate will not speak to an individual on matters relating to a Canadian registered charity unless they are an authorized representative of the charity so it is important that CRA has up to date and accurate information on file relating to a charity's directors, trustees or like officials.

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December 09, 2016

CRA releases new Guidance on Relieving conditions attributable to being aged

Canada Revenue Agency recently released a new CRA guidance, CG-026, Relieving conditions attributable to being aged and charitable registration that replaces the previous CPS-002 Relief of the Aged CRA guidance. 

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November 25, 2016

CRA has released a folio on “Split-receipting and Deemed Fair Market Value”

CRA has just released a chapter in their Income Tax Folio series for charities and non-profit organizations.   The new part is S7-F1-C1, Split-receipting and Deemed Fair Market Value.  Income Tax Folios are CRA’s official summary of its interpretation on certain income tax matters and this is the first chapter for Folio 1 Charitable Gifts and Deductions. The new folio relates to subsections 248(30) to (41) of the Income Tax Act (Canada), which contain the split-receipting rules and deemed fair market value rule.

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November 24, 2016

Recording available for CCLA webinar by Mark Blumberg on CRA’s political activities consultation

Mark Blumberg recently presented a webinar for the Canadian Charity Law Association (CCLA) to discuss CRA’s consultation on political activities and the importance of Canadian charities conducting political activities.   The deadline for submissions to CRA has been extended to December 14, 2016.

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November 24, 2016

Submissions being accepted for Canada’s Volunteer Awards

Employment and Social Development Canada is running the Canada’s Volunteer Awards program, to recognize the outstanding contributions of individual volunteers, not-for-profit organizations and businesses in Canada that are helping communities. 

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November 24, 2016

CRA providing electronic version of Form T2081

CRA recently announced that the mailing of a printed copy of the Form T2081, Excess Corporate Holdings Worksheet for Private Foundations will no longer be sent out to affected charities. However, this form will be accessible to affected charities on the CRA website.  

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November 24, 2016

Deadline for CRA consultation submissions on political activities extended

CRA recently announced that the deadline for online submissions for its political activities consultation has been extended to December 14th, 2016.  The CRA is looking for feedback on the rules and CRA's guidance relating to political activities. You can email your submissions to CRA at consultation-policy-politique@cra-arc.gc.ca.

November 09, 2016

Some basic questions charities should ask if they are considering political activities

If your charity is considering conducting political activities here are some basic questions you might want to ask:

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November 03, 2016

Mark Blumberg’s article “CRA consultation on political activities – to submit or not to submit?”

I recently wrote an article for Hilborn entitled "CRA consultation on political activities – to submit or not to submit?"  Here is the text of the article:

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November 03, 2016

CRA is now including a T3010 reminder notice in Notification of Registration letters

Recently we noticed that CRA is now including a T3010 reminder notice in the Notification of Registration letters being issued to new Canadian registered charities. The reminder notice relates to the due date of the charity's annual information return with CRA.  

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November 03, 2016

CRA releases new educational video series on ‘Gifting and Receipting’

CRA recently released its first video as part of a new educational video series on 'Gifting and Receipting'.  This series is meant to educate the public, donors, and those involved in the charitable sector on the type of donations that are tax-receiptable and the different CRA rules regarding receipting.  

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November 02, 2016

An ICN Webinar – CRA Regulations and the Political Activities of Charities

I am pleased to be co-presenting to the ICN a webinar on "CRA Regulations and the Political Activities of Charities".

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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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