Blog

April 04, 2018

Presentation in Winnipeg on foreign activities by Canadian charities with MCIC

I am looking forward to delivering a presentation next week in Winnipeg on Canadian Charities Conducting Foreign Activities: Compliance Requirements.  I will discuss the rules for foreign activities but also some recent developments involving CRA.   

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April 04, 2018

Redacted lists of registered charities audited by CRA under the political activities program

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system Redacted lists of registered charities audited by CRA under the political activities program

March 30, 2018

Ahlul-Bayt Centre, Ottawa v. Canada (National Revenue) - irreparable harm and revocation

There is another Federal Court of Appeal case dealing with the test for having the courts delay the publication of a notice of intention to revoke by CRA.  It is called Ahlul-Bayt Centre, Ottawa v. Canada (National Revenue).  In September 2017 the CRA advised the  Ahlul-Bayt Centre in Ottawa of its intention to revoke their charity status.  CRA wanted the revocation to take place within 30 days.   The Centre wanted to stop the publication of the notice of intention to revoke until much later citing the irreparable harm that would be caused by loss of charitable status.  The Court decided "Taken as a whole, the evidence is in our view insufficient to establish irreparable harm."  The Court dismissed the application.  This case shows that it is difficult to show "irreparable harm" to delay revocation. 

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March 28, 2018

CRA releases information on Universities Outside Canada - good news for foreign universities

Here is our article CRA releases information on Universities Outside Canada - good news for foreign universities.  This will be of interest to universities outside of Canada whether they are prescribed foreign universities or not.   

March 27, 2018

CRA internal PowerPoint to Audit Team conducting political activity audits

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system CRA internal PowerPoint to Audit Team conducting political activity audits.  

March 27, 2018

CRA Audit Plans and procedures for political activity audits

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system CRA Audit Plans and procedures for political activity audits

March 27, 2018

Upcoming Blumbergs’ Events for 2018 - Bootcamp, T3010 and Receipting

Understanding legal compliance for registered charities is not easy but Blumbergs is offering exciting new upcoming events in 2018 that will help.   

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March 26, 2018

CRA insert reminding Canadian registered charities about electronic filing and CHAMP.

CRA has been sending this insert in various mailings reminding Canadian registered charities that the new move to electronic filing of charity applications and the optional ability to file T3010s online is starting in November 2018.  Charities should start to prepare to use the new facility by setting up a MyBA account if they don't have one already.   Charities can already use the MyBA for limited purposes such as changing their address online.   

March 25, 2018

Corporations Canada has made a giant leap forward in increasing transparency of Federal corporations

As you probably know if you are interested in a Federal corporation (non-profit or otherwise) you can easily search the Corporations Canada website.  This gives you lots of information on Federal non-profit corporations including the name, Corporation Number, Status, which corporate legislation governs, their registered office address, names and addresses of directors, the minimum and maximum number of directors, the last filing date of a corporation, whether filings are overdue, the history of the corporate names, as well as what corporate documents have been filed like Articles, By-laws, Financial Statements etc.   You could always request copies of documents and Corporations Canada was quite efficient in returning them within a day or two.   However, now Corporations Canada has made it even easier for you by making many of the listed documents available instantly. 

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March 24, 2018

Exciting functionality being added to CharityData.ca

We are adding some exciting new functionality with CharityData.ca   First, it is easy to see what gifts a Canadian registered charity gives to another Canadian registered charity on the CRA website.  But what if you want to know which charities gave funds to a particular charity?  Now you can do this on CharityData.ca by looking under the "Fundraising" tab.   Second, we are going to be updating the data used on the site to include all 2016 data and some 2017 data.  Third, we have added a number of new ways to search or sort all charities on the "Advanced Charity Search Page" Page.  There are now about 30 ways to filter or search.  Here is some more information on Charitydata.ca:

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March 24, 2018

Posting New Content on the CRA’s Charities and Giving webpages

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system Posting New Content on the CRA's Charities and Giving web pages.  If you are wondering how difficult it is for the Charities Directorate to even post the simplest information this chart will help.  The short answer - it is difficult.  While bloggers can put up information in minutes the CRA system can take months, years and even decades to get a document published online.  I am still waiting for CRA to release their guidance on religion, the first consultation draft was done about 9 years ago!     

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March 24, 2018

CRA’s “Compliance Framework for Files with Identified Political Activities”

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system Compliance Framework for Files with Identified Political Activities.  It explains how political activity audit files are identified by CRA, screening criteria used, and different types of audits that may be used depending on the screening finding.  CRA even has a cool infographic on sources and screening - ok it was from 2012 and they have gotten a lot better since then.   

March 24, 2018

What type of charities were audited by CRA under the political activity program

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system What type of charities were audited by CRA under the political activity program. It shows as of February 2014 with 31 charities being audited in terms of the 4 heads of charity how CRA divided up the political activity audits.

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March 24, 2018

Canadian Charities and Terrorism:  Protecting the Resources of Your Favourite Charity

In Canadian Charities and Terrorism:  Protecting the Resources of Your Favourite Charity we provide some suggestions for Canadian non-profits and registered charities to avoid having their resources misused by terrorists.

Topics: News

March 22, 2018

Prescribed foreign universities and the Canadian 2018 Budget

David Sherman, a very knowledgeable and respected Canadian tax writer and practitioner, had expressed a concern that the changes in the 2018 Federal Budget that were meant to have simplified the system for recognizing prescribed foreign universities may have the unintended consequence of not including all foreign prescribed universities that were currently on the list.  Today Finance released the Legislative Proposals Notice of Ways and Means Motions and Explanatory Notes.  In it they make certain additional changes to ensure that there is no question that all the foreign prescribed universities that were on the list will be recognized.   

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March 13, 2018

More ways to sort Canadian registered charity data at www.charitydata.ca

Blumbergs has created the largest Canadian registered charity information portal at www.charitydata.ca with up to 13 years information on every Canadian registered charity. We have just added additional ways to sort data at www.charitydata.ca.  You can search by name, BN, Program, Charity Type, Revenue, Province and City.  

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March 12, 2018

Heavily redacted memorandum to PM Justin Trudeau from PCO on the political activities audits

March 11, 2018

CHAMP - CRA backtracks on giving internal divisions separate BN numbers

CRA has noted on the Charities IT Modernization Project (CHAMP) page that internal divisions will be able to access the CRA online system without obtaining a new BN number.  In September of 2017 we blogged about developments relating to "head bodies" and "internal divisions".  Previously they had said that they will be issuing new distinct BN numbers to each internal division but now they will not.

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March 10, 2018

CRA media points on consultation panel report on political activities - May 3, 2017

March 10, 2018

Recent CRA presentation on political activities by Canadian registered charities

Here is a recent CRA presentation on political activities by Canadian registered charities that has some good examples of allowable and prohibited political activities.  It was obtained through ATIP.  Some have complained that the examples in CRA's political activities guidance are dated. This presentation provides more up-to-date and relevant examples. 

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March 07, 2018

Barry Bussey “Trudeau Liberals clearly don’t understand religious charities and their rights”

Barry Bussey published an op ed in The Province on the Canada Summer Jobs program and the reluctance of the CRA Minister to release it guidance on religion which has essentially been complete for a number of years. 

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March 03, 2018

Statistics Canada says total Canadian donations down in 2016

Statistics Canada has reported that "Total donations reported by Canadian tax filers fell to $8.9 billion in 2016, down 2.7% from 2015."  The Statscan numbers only claims by individuals tax filers and not what was actually donated to charity by individuals, corporations, etc. which in 2016 was $16.5 Billion.

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February 27, 2018

Canadian Federal Budget 2018 and its impact on non-profits and charities

The Liberal government has unveiled their 2018 Federal Budget today.   Here is our article Canadian Federal Budget 2018 and its impact on non-profits and charities.  

February 24, 2018

T2050 - Application to Register a Charity Under the Income Tax Act (CRA)

The CRA has updated their T2050 - Application to Register a Charity Under the Income Tax Act (CRA).  The changes appear to reflect the updated URLs for the CRA documents at the Canada.ca website. As of November 2018 all CRA charity applications will need to be done online using the CRA CHAMP system.  

February 24, 2018

RC191 - Qualified Donee Becoming a Prescribed University Outside Canada (CRA) updated

CRA has recently updated their guidance RC191 - Qualified Donee Becoming a Prescribed University Outside Canada (CRA).  The changes are minor.  They have updated the Charities and Giving links to the new Canada.ca website.  For a more in-depth discussion of a foreign university applying to be a Canadian foreign prescribed university our article "Foreign Universities Applying for Prescribed University Status in Canada 2018" may be of assistance.

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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