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Taxpayers’ Ombudsman releases major report “Donor Beware” on charity gifting tax shelter schemes

I was delighted to read a publication "Donor Beware: Investigation into the sufficiency of the Canada Revenue Agency's warnings about questionable tax shelter schemes".  The special report was prepared in December 2013 by J. Paul Dubé, the Taxpayers' Ombudsman.  The 39 page report rips into charitable gifting tax shelters.  Although it is generally very positive about the work of CRA in trying to educate taxpayers and denying the tax credits it does make some recommendations for CRA to increase educational efforts to donors on the dangers of these schemes.  I was quite pleasantly surprised that there were a number of references to articles I have written or websites that I edit.

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Ten Most Useful Features of the Canada Revenue Agency’s Charities Directorate Website

The title is self-explanatory.  CRA’s website is a valuable resource for anyone involved with charities.  As a charity lawyer I am at the website daily and encourage others to make use of the material and information. Here are my thoughts on the Ten Most Useful Features of the Canada Revenue Agency’s Charities Directorate Website

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Top Canadian Charities Operating Outside of Canada (2005) - Another dramatic increase

12,320 Canadian registered charities spent over $2.1 billion outside of Canada in 2005.  The details are provided.

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Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities by Mark Blumberg

89% of charities issue inappropriate receipts according to statistics from the CRA when they audit charities.  Other than non-filing the T3010 this is the greatest reason that charities face revocation.  Here is my paper that I delivered to the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) Institute 2011 entitled Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities.

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Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities by Mark Blumberg for the OBA Institute

Here is a copy of my paper delivered at the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) Institute 2011 entitled Top Receipting Concerns for Canadian Registered Charities.  I was delighted to be co-chairing the program and that there were 90 lawyers out for the sessions.

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Top Ten Canadian Charity Law Issues by Mark Blumberg

So much is written about legal issues relating to charities in Canada. In this article I try to distill the ten most important things you need to know about charity law in Canada.

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Updated Canadian Registered Charity Legal Checklist by Mark Blumberg

Here is an updated version of the Canadian Charity Legal Checklist.  For those who are interested in reviewing legal compliance for their registered charity they may find the checklist helpful.  

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What is planned giving?

In this article I discuss different planned giving vehicles in Canada.

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Which Canadian charities spent money on foreign activities and how much did they spend?

We recently reviewed the T3010 information for 2011 relating to foreign activities. The database was prepared by the Charities Directorate of CRA in September 2012 and covers about 81,000 charities (94% of Canadian registered charities) and their 2011 T3010 returns. We reviewed the Canadian charities that identified they did foreign activities through funding projects abroad (approximately 5200 charities identified spending funds abroad and only about 3550 spent over $10,000. We also list which identified they received CIDA funding and how much was spent on those arrangements. Finally, we list the amount of gift in kinds that charities issued receipts for which they may or may not have shipped abroad

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Which Canadian Charities Spent Money on “political activities” and how much did they spend?

We recently reviewed the T3010 information for 2011.  The database was prepared by the Charities Directorate of CRA in September 2012 and covers about 81,000 charities (94% of Canadian registered charities) and their 2011 T3010 returns.  Here is the article "Which Canadian Charities Spent Money on “political activities” and how much did they spend?"

Canadian registered charities are currently required to disclose on the T3010 “Did the Charity Carry on Political Activities During the Fiscal Year?” (line 2400) and “Enter the Total Amount spent by the Charity on these activities” (line 5000)

Please review my caveats at the end about the reliability and usage of T3010 information.

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Which Canadian Registered Charities Spent Money on “political activities” and how much in 2012

We recently reviewed the T3010 information for 2012.   The database was prepared by the Charities Directorate of CRA in June 2014 and covers about 85,477 charities which is almost all of the 2012 T3010 returns.  Canadian registered charities were required to disclose on the 2012 T3010 “Did the Charity Carry on Political Activities During the Fiscal Year?” (line 2400) and “Enter the Total Amount spent by the Charity on these activities” (line 5000)

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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. 

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Which Canadian registered charities spent the most on political activities in 2013?

Why Canadian donors have low levels of trust for Canadian international development charities?

An Ipsos Reid poll suggests that Canadian donors have low levels of trust of “international development” charities.  This article will attempt to explain why and suggest how to increase levels of trust.

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“Focus on Canadian Charities and Political Activities” in Canadian Donor’s Guide

Here is a short article that I wrote entitled “Focus on Canadian Charities and Political Activities” for the Canadian Donor’s Guide in May 2012.

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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
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