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.
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.”
The 2009 Canadian Federal Budget released by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on January 27 2009 includes nothing specific for charities.
In order for Canadian charities to effectively achieve their objects or mandate they often need to engage in some “political” activities, especially when the objects or mandate require the assistance and support of government. It is important for Canadian charities to understand the types of activities that are allowed and those that are prohibited. This presentation will discusses: *the importance of political activities conducted by charities, especially in the context of international development; *expenditure limitations on political activities for registered Canadian charities under the Income Tax Act (“10% rule”) and CRA rules; *effect of political activities on disbursement quota; *the difference between allowable political, charitable, and prohibited activity and examples of each; *the difference between public awareness, educational activities, and political activities; *use of non-profits to increase political expenditures and activities; *lobbyist registration requirements for Canadian non-profits and charities interacting with the federal government.
Here is part of a draft of the new T3010B which was included in a recent Bulletin of the CCCC. This part relates to the T3010B questions on foreign activities by Canadian charities with some of my comments in red.
There has been a dramatic increase in interest amongst North American NGOs in health issues in the developing world. Often well intentioned actions create more problems than they solve. According to those responsible for creating the NGO Code of Conduct for Health Systems Strengthening “It is now becoming clearer that NGOs, if not careful and vigilant, can undermine the public sector and even the health system as a whole, by diverting health workers, managers and leaders into privatized operations that create parallel structures to government and that tend to worsen the isolation of communities from formal health systems.”
This article deals with the recent Canadian Federal Court of Appeal case Hostelling International Canada – Ontario East Region in which the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the CRA decision to revoke their charitable registration. Under the Canadian Income Tax Act, charitable organizations and public foundations can carry on “related business” that promote their charitable objects. An example would be a hospital cafeteria - providing food to patients and visitors. They can also carry on other unrelated business activities if “substantially all” (CRA says at least 90%) of the people involved in these activities are volunteers. Here is my article on
Canadian Charities and Business Activities and a copy of the decision in the federal court of appeal Hostelling International Canada – Ontario East Region
Here are some statistics from the CRA dealing with the 83,000 registered charities in Canada as of the end of 2007.
The CRA has recently posted a useful checklist entitled “Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) checklist for charities”
The Charities Directorate has vastly improved its section of the CRA website over the last year, although it still has a way to go!. In the past they have improved the quality and accessibility of information placed on the site. CRA has recently improved the ability of Canadians to search their database of charities as we discuss in more detail. If you have not viewed the Charity Directorates website recently it is well worth visiting.
Here is the December edition of the Blumbergs Canadian charity law e-mail list. If you wish to receive a copy of the Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List then please sign up at the Blumbergs’ Newsletter Page. It takes about 10 seconds and it is free. The Blumbergs Canadian Charity Law List is sent every month or two and it has the latest information for Canadian non-profits and charities on legal and ethical issues. Comments are always appreciated.
This entry discusses whether social enterprise, social innovation, social financing or community economic development (CED) is charitable.
Charities do a lot of great work. But with over 85,000 of them, and a few hundred bad apples amongst the lot, there will be times that you will be disappointed in a charity. When you have a concern about a charity or a charity does something wrong here are some ideas about how you can complain.
Here is a copy of my presentation Global Philanthropy: Canadians and Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities that I delivered to the Estate Planning Council of Toronto.
The problem of abusive charitable tax shelters using the developing world as a marketing tool continues. It just goes to show the importance of dealing with credible and legitimate charities if you want to make the world a better place.
The CRA has reminded charitable organizations (not foundations) that these charitable organizations will beginning in 2009 have to in addition to other disbursement quota requirements need to spend 3.5% of the value of all of their property the charity has that is not used directly in charitable activities or administration.
This brief article discusses the Charitable Goods Policy of the Canada Revenue Agency.
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
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.