Blog

March 18, 2009

Charity Scams in Canada - Costing Us All A Lot

Here is some statistical information on Charity Scams - Costing Us All A Lot.  Just to give some perspective far more funds flow to charity tax avoidance schemes in Canada than to all the money spent by Canadian charities on relieving poverty in the developing world!!

March 17, 2009

Tax Havens Cause Poverty

If you are interested in assisting reduce or eliminate extreme poverty and you want more than writing a cheque to fix a symptom of a problem then you might find this note interesting.  Various groups have highlighted the importance of tax havens in undermining foreign governments in their development work by being a mechanism by which the wealthy can avoid paying taxes.  What does government in Canada provide to us?  Schools, hospitals, universities, social safety net, police.  Imagine what Canada would look like if we had almost no tax revenue.  Within a decade or two there would be no schools, hospital, universities, social safety net, police etc.

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March 10, 2009

Canadian Charities

There are over 83,500 Canadian registered charities.  If you want to find out about a registered charity the first place to look is the CRA’s website to see if they are registered and their T3010 Registered Charity Information Return at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/menu-eng.html. Google also provides often useful information.  The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and Vancouver Sun have also written interesting articles on the charity sector.  Canadiancharitylaw.ca has information on the legal requirements and ethical standards for Canadian registered charities at www.canadiancharitylaw.ca.  CharityVillage has lots of information on jobs within the charity sector as well as articles on different charity related subjects at www.charityvillage.com If you want to donate to any Canadian charity online, even if they do not have a website, you can do so through www.canadahelps.org

March 01, 2009

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) “Criteria for Philanthropy at its Best”

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) has recently prepared a report entitled “Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best: Benchmarks to Assess and Enhance Grantmaker Impact”.  The report is geared towards US foundations but is equally relevant to Canadian foundations.  It will no doubt be controversial.

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February 26, 2009

Obama Budget to drastically reduce tax incentives for the wealthy who donate to charity

February 25, 2009

OECD Report on Abuse of Charities for Money Laundering and Tax Evasion - Canada does very poorly

The OECD Report on Abuse of Charities for Money Laundering and Tax Evasion is well worth reading for anyone who cares about the Canadian charitable sector.  On my quick read of the report it seems that Canada has probably more charity tax evasion than any other country.  The complete report is at: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/30/20/42232037.pdf I will be writing an article on the ethics of professional advisors, especially charity lawyers, being involved with advising and defending charity tax evasion schemes.

February 24, 2009

Canada Narrows Focus of Countries for CIDA Aid as part of Aid Effectiveness Agenda

Here is a press release from the Canadian government with respect to the 20 countries that will be the focus of Canadian bilateral (government to government) aid and they include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Caribbean, Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Ukraine, Vietnam, West Bank/Gaza.

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February 23, 2009

T3010B - New CRA Canadian Charity Information Return for 2009

The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency has revised their form T3010A with a new form called the T3010B, and it is supposed to be used by Canadian charities for fiscal years ending in 2009.

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February 21, 2009

Millennium Charitable Foundation Case - Federal Court (FCA) not impressed with charity tax shelters

The Millennium Charitable Foundation Case deals with abusive charitable gifting schemes.  The Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) sided with CRA in this matter.  It is well worth reading for anyone concerned with the charity sector.

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February 20, 2009

Scaremongering charities in a recession is not helpful - Canwest should improve coverage

In this article, I look at and criticize a sensationalist and inaccurate article in the Ottawa Citizen entitled “Downturn will sink 10,000 non-profits: think-tank:  ‘We’re just beginning to see blood in the pool,’ expert warns”.

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February 16, 2009

Global giving is not a one way street- US Foundations Supporting Canadian Charities

The Foundation Center’s Interactive Map of Direct Grants by U.S. Grantmakers to Non-US Recipients is helpful to see how almost $7 billion dollars worth of grants went from the US to non-US charities etc.  It may be helpful to Canadian charities interested in working with a US foundation on an international project. Global giving is not a one way street- US Foundations Supporting Canadian Charities.

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Topics: News | Global Giving

February 15, 2009

Ethiopian Law Will Affect Canadian Charities Operating in Ethiopia

The Proclamation for the Registration and Regulation of Charities and Societies was passed by the Ethiopian government.  It will limit the activities and funding by foreign NGOs and charities.  It will make it harder for some foreign NGOs to operate in Ethiopia.  Canadian Charities operating in Ethiopia should review whether the legislation will affect their operations. Essentially it sets out tough penalties for those who do not follow the law.  It restricts certain areas of activity including gender or ethnic equality, human and democratic rights, the strengthening of judicial practices or law enforcement, or conflict resolution to only Ethiopian NGOs who are receiving less than 10% of their funding from outside of Ethiopia.

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February 15, 2009

Canadian charities and pharmaceutical donations -some ethical issues

There are many legal and ethical issues with the donation of pharmaceuticals to developing countries.  In this note I will touch upon some of the ethical issues.

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February 14, 2009

Bev Oda, CIDA boss, answers questions and provides direction on aid in article with Embassy Magazine

In this article from Embassy Magazine entitled “Aid to Focus on Needs During Downturn: Oda”, Bev Oda, the Minister of International Cooperation who is responsible for CIDA provides some very interesting insights into questions that many have wondered about in terms of the direction of CIDA.  For those who want to understand CIDA this article is very useful.  The article by Lee Berthiaume covers many issues including why aid was not discussed in last budget, doubling aid to Africa, Food Aid Convention commitments, untying of aid, relative importance of Africa versus South America, and aid effectiveness.

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February 13, 2009

Research Paper “Global Philanthropy and International Cooperation: A Guide to Trends and Issues”

Here is a research paper prepared by Betty Plewes for the CCIC entitled “Global Philanthropy and International Cooperation: A Guide to Trends and Issues. ” 
http://www.ccic.ca/e/docs/002_voluntary_2008-12_philanthropy_article.pdf

February 12, 2009

Workshop on Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies (MSEE), and Crises- by CIDA and STC

This CIDA and Save the Children Canada workshop sounds really interesting on “Understanding and Using the Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies (MSEE), Chronic Crises and Early Reconstruction.”

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February 08, 2009

Canada Revenue Agency Charities Directorate Update November 2009

This CRA Charities Directorate Update presented in November 2009 provides some interesting information and statistics on compliance issues for the sector.

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February 07, 2009

Canadian Charity Donation Tax Shelters Make No Financial Sense - or any other sense

February 04, 2009

Charities and the Do Not Call List - Yes Charities Must Register who telemarket

Since September 30, 2008 charities who telemarket must register.  The Federal government recently rejected an attempt by AFP and Imagine Canada to exempt charities from any registration requirement.  Here is my article on the Do Not Call List (DNCL) and Canadian charities.

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February 01, 2009

Political Activities and Canadian Charities -Some CRA Policies and letters on political activities

Most of CRA’s view on political activities by Canadian charities can be found in Policy Statement CPS-022 Political Activities. (see Political Activities (CPS - 022) located at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cps/cps-022-eng.html   I highly recommend that any charity considering conducting any activity that could be construed as political, review in detail the CPS-022 Policy Statement on Political Activities.

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February 01, 2009

Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List - January 2009 - the Budget, CRA Audits, Political Activities

January 29, 2009

CRA helps Ontario charities reduce paperwork and filing requirements in 2009

Ontario charities incorporated under the Ontario Corporations Act can save time and energy by filing one new directors and officer form instead of two, beginning when the Ontario corporation has a fiscal year end in 2009.

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January 27, 2009

Million dollar donation and NO tax receipt -unbelievable!!

This is a very interesting story of one donation to a non-profit.

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Topics: News

January 27, 2009

CRA calls an apple an apple - Project Trident

CRA has launched a new initiative called “Project Trident” in which they are targeting the “Triple Threat Tax Fraud” namely “identity theft, charities?related fraud, and tax preparer fraud.”

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January 27, 2009

2009 Canadian Federal Budget and Charities

The 2009 Canadian Federal Budget released by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on January 27 2009 includes nothing specific for 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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