Blog

August 04, 2018

Blumbergs’ Pre-Budget Brief to the Finance Committee

Here is a copy of our Submission to the Federal Finance Committee dated August 1, 2018 for the 2019 Federal Budget.  The submission covers transparency of non-profits and registered charities as well as a number other recommendations to improve the regulation of registered charities.  

July 30, 2018

Canada Without Poverty vs. AG – a pyrrhic victory for CWP and a disaster for the charity sector

Here is my article on the recent CWP v. AG case entitled Canada Without Poverty vs. Attorney General of Canada – a pyrrhic victory for CWP and a disaster for the charity sector.  In short, I think it is a bad decision that is long term going to have very negative repercussions for the charity sector and our society as a whole.  

July 17, 2018

Canada Without Poverty v. Attorney General of Canada - recent decision in the Ontario Superior Court

The Canada Without Poverty v. Attorney General of Canada decision was released on July 16th.  Here is the decision. I have written extensively about the importance of having Canadian charities engage in some political activities and how the rules can work for the charity sector and here is our directory on charities and political activities.   

July 17, 2018

CRA letter on gifts from an estate and recent changes to rules

Here is a letter from CRA discussing when an official donation receipt can be issued for a gift from an estate and how the 2016 changes affect this.  Here is the text of the letter:

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July 17, 2018

CRA letter on private foundation receiving residue of alter ego trust and excess corporate holdings

There are certain rules in the Income Tax Act that only apply to private foundations and not charitable organizations and public foundations.  These rules are called the 'excess business holdings' regime or 'excess corporate holdings' regime.  They limit the amount of shares or interests a Canadian private foundation can have, or that the private foundation plus other relevant persons may have.   CRA in a recent letter discusses whether the excess business holdings rules apply when the private foundation will receive the shares as a residue of an alter ego trust. 

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July 16, 2018

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. Topics are subject to change. 

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June 30, 2018

Payments by Canadian registered charities to victims of disaster and whether recipients pay tax

Canadian registered charities often have to provide assistance to people in disasters.  Does an individual or business have to include this amount in their income?  CRA recently released a letter discussing this issue.

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June 26, 2018

Corporations Canada having public consultation on service fee changes affecting the CNCA etc.

Corporations Canada is looking at changing their fees in relation to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) as well as some other acts.  Some of the most common fees like filing the annual return will be reduced and others will be increased significantly. Some fees will be eliminated completely.  Here is the full proposal for consultation.   In general it is a fair proposal - encouraging people to move to electronic, making some most commonly done transactions cheaper and reflecting the real cost of certain other transactions.

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June 24, 2018

UK guidance on bequest giving can be helpful for Canadian charities

The Institute of Legacy Management has published voluntary ethical guidelines for charities' legacy professionals, covering issues that can arise when charities receive or solicit a legacy or bequest, including: doubts about the source of the donor's income or the donor's character; the risks of unwelcome media interest; and communicating with hostile lay executors or families. You can find the guidance here.  The Charity Times has also written about the guidance, which you can find here. Although it is a UK guidance it is helpful for Canadian charities.   

 

June 16, 2018

Trinity Western University Supreme Court of Canada decision

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada released two decisions relating to the proposed law school at Trinity Western University namely Law Society of British Columbia v. Trinity Western University and Trinity Western University v. Law Society of Upper Canada.

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Topics: News

June 16, 2018

Toronto Star article on offshore tax scheme that tried to use charity donation and did not work

The Toronto Star recently published an article: "Inside the offshore tax scheme that left iconic Olympian Donovan Bailey owing nearly $2.3 million in unpaid taxes". ; In the article, investigative reporter Jesse McLean covered a complicated scheme to help an athlete avoid Canadian taxes in part through making a donation to a registered charity which had actually lost its registered charity status because of non-filing of the T3010 annual return. The scheme did not work.

The article notes that "According to the tax plan, Bailey's donation would flow through a complicated web of transactions before the bulk of the money would make its way back to the sprinter, tax free, through an offshore trust". 

Here is an article from the Law Times on the litigation: "Judge finds lawyer negligent for advice to Olympic skier", and here is a link to the actual case: Lindsay v. Aird & Berlis LLP, 2018 ONSC 7424 (CanLII).

June 13, 2018

Building Financial Capacity for Canadian charities and non-profits

Join us on Tuesday October 16, 2018 in Toronto for a financial capacity building workshop with Gordon Holley from Humanity Financial Management.  Gordon will show organization leaders what they can do to increase the financial capacity of their charities and not-for-profit organizations.You can sign up here.

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June 12, 2018

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2018

The Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Institute 2018 will be held on October 15, 2018.  Register here.

June 11, 2018

Standing Committee on Finance announces pre-budget consultation for 2019 Federal Budget

The Standing Committee on Finance (SCOF) has launched its pre-budget consultation for the 2019 Federal Budget.  Briefs can be submitted by August 3, 2018.  SCOF  provides a written brief template and requires that submissions be no longer than 2000 words.  

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Topics: News

June 05, 2018

Ontario PGT releases information on “Payments to Directors & Connected Persons”

Further to the changes on April 1, 2018 to the Charities Accounting Act relating to Ontario charities and payments to certain people, the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee has released a guide "Payments to Directors & Connected Persons".   It is generally not a good idea to compensate board members but if you are an Ontario charity and wish to do so then you should be aware of the requirements.

May 25, 2018

Blumbergs’ Receipting Kit for Canadian registered charities - by Mark Blumberg

Here is our Blumbergs’ Receipting Kit for Canadian registered charities 2018.   If you wish to receive updates on the Receipting Kit you should join our Blumbergs email newsletter to receive regular updates on charity compliance issues affecting Canadian registered charities.  There is no cost and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

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May 17, 2018

Great news from Corporations Canada on incorporations of Federal non-profits under the CNCA

For those who read our blog you will know that we are very pleased with the new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) that came into effect in 2011. It is a very easy to use modern corporate act that allows a tremendous amount of flexibility and was a wonderful improvement over the old Canada Corporations Act.   It is also a major improvement over many of the provincial non-profit corporate acts.  Although establishing a non-profit corporation was relatively easy there was one problem with using the Online Filing Centre.   

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May 17, 2018

Which Canadian charities received funds for political activities from foreign sources 2016

We recently looked at Which Canadian charities received funds for political activities from foreign sources in 2016?  We hope that you find the article interesting.  

May 17, 2018

Key statistics on Canada’s charity and non-profit sector

The Canadian charity and non-profit sector are an important part of the Canadian economy and have a huge impact on the lives of Canadians.   With the registered charity sector (approximately 86,000 organizations) the public has up-to-date and detailed information.  Unfortunately, with the 80-100,000 non-profits that are not registered charities (we don't even know how many there are) we have almost no information on the size and scope of that sector and there is little transparency on individual non-profits that are not registered charities. 

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May 16, 2018

Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector starts meetings

The Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector has started having meetings and inviting witnesses.  We covered the details of the mandate at Senate appoints Special Committee on the Charitable Sector to look at laws and policies and impact   Here are the dates of the recent meetings (with either a link to the transcript or video webcast).

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May 16, 2018

Corporations Canada and CRA have teamed up to expedite the provision of business numbers

On May 10, 2018, Corporations Canada announced that for new Federal corporations that are newly incorporated, such as Federal non-profit corporations under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA), Corporations Canada would be providing the Canada Revenue Agency Business Number (BN) immediately after incorporation by email. 

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May 12, 2018

CRA’s Fundraising Guidance is the most important compliance document for Canadian fundraisers

I am still surprised at the number of Canadian fundraisers that I meet who have not read the CRA's Fundraising Guidance or have read it but don't remember any of the details!   Here is the Fundraising Guidance on the CRA site and here is a PDF version of the CRA Fundraising Guidance as of May 2018.   If your Canadian registered charity is fundraising then you should be aware of this guidance.   CRA is auditing charities that are not complying with the requirements and in some cases revoking them.  I have put up a number of letters from CRA on our website that CRA wrote to charities as part of the revocation process.  These letters show the actual implementation of the fundraising guidance.

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May 12, 2018

CRA response letter re Complaint About a Particular Canadian Registered Charity

May 11, 2018

Philanthropy and First Nations with Richard Bridge, charity lawyer

Here is a recent archived presentation Philanthropy and First Nations with Richard Bridge which explains the importance of philanthropy with Indigenous groups and how Bands and other organizations can become qualified donees and take advantage of philanthropic interest.   

Link:   https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/5404821320772560652 

May 02, 2018

Finance Canada releases 2018 Report on Federal Tax Expenditures Concepts, Estimates and Evaluations

The Department of Finance has released the 2018 Report on Federal Tax Expenditures.  The document is over 300 pages and discusses the financial costs of certain Canadian tax measures including donation tax incentives.  These costs are referred to as "tax expenditures".   On page 287 there is an extensive discussion of the tax assistance for publicly listed securities or marketable securities under the heading "Evaluation of the Non-Taxation of Capital Gains on Donations of Publicly Listed Securities". Anyone interested in the topic of donating appreciable marketable security to charities will find the discussion interesting.

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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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