Ethics and Canadian Charities

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.   

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 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 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

April 28, 2018

99% decrease in taxpayers participating in Canadian abusive charity gifting tax shelters

CRA has confirmed that the value of receipts issued by a few charities that were part of 'abusive charity gifting tax shelters' was over $7 Billion dollars and resulted in the reassessment by CRA of over 208,000 taxpayer returns.  The height of the schemes was 48,000 participants in 2006 and that number has been reduced to less than 400 in 2014.   We have written many times about these complicated schemes which promise for a certain cash donation you can obtain a much higher official donation receipt which will result in tax savings that are greater than your "investment". 

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April 26, 2018

CharityVillage Top Charity Compliance Issues for Canadian Registered Charity with Mark Blumberg

Here is my recent webinar Top Charity Compliance Issues for Canadian Registered Charity with Mark Blumberg.  It was wonderful to have over 3000 people registered for the webinar and thank you CharityVillage for hosting.  You can see the presentation, the slide deck and a charity checklist.    

April 24, 2018

CRA letter on Ineligible Individual and Impact on Charity Application

Here is our article CRA letter on Ineligible Individual and Impact on Charity Application which provides a copy of a standard letter when CRA determines that an ineligible individual may be involved with a charity application.   

April 19, 2018

Markou v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 66 (CanLII)

The case of Markou v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 66 (CanLII) in the Tax Court of Canada dealt with a leveraged donation program called “Donation Program for Medical Science and Technology”- what CRA used to refer to as an "abusive charity gifting donation scheme".  The TCC determined that there was no donative intent and no gift.

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April 11, 2018

Top Canadian Charity Law Issues by Mark Blumberg - For Charity Village - March 2018

Here is an article I recently wrote entitled Top Canadian Charity Law Issues for Charity Village.  It highlights some of the top compliance issues that a Canadian charity should be concerned with.   

April 08, 2018

Searching the CRA’s new website at Canada.ca made easy

There are over 2.5m pages on the Government of Canada's website and only a few thousand deal with registered charities.   Here are some tips on finding information on registered charities.  However, keep in mind that information and legal advice are two very different matters - if the issue is important and involves potentially large consequences consider obtaining professional legal advice from a lawyer who is very knowledgeable about non-profits and charities and consequently probably spends most of their time practicing in the narrow confines of charity and non-profit law.  

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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 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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February 24, 2018

Why US and other nonprofit organizations may wish to set up in Canada

In the past US and other charities had mainly looked to establishing a Canadian counterpart non-profit or registered charity when they thought that either there were fundraising opportunities in Canada or they wish to conduct their own charitable activities in Canada.   Over the last year we have seen many international groups outside of Canada wanting to establish either a nonprofit or registered charity in Canada to be their headquarters for international operations. This is for many diverse reasons.  Some fear the rising tensions and uncertainty in the US and how this could affect the operation of their organizations.  For others they would prefer to have offices or headquarters in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver rather than in the US or a number of other countries which are increasingly unstable, xenophobic or repressive.

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February 14, 2018

Isah, A. v. The Queen (TCC) - TCC imposes gross negligence penalties for

The Tax Court of Canada in Isah, A. v. The Queen (TCC) deals with donations disallowed by CRA and the court ultimately decided to impose gross negligence penalties on the taxpayer who submitted fake official donation receipts. 

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February 14, 2018

Consultation “Reviewing Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Regime”

The Department of Finance is reviewing Canada's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regime.  They have published a consultation paper at Reviewing Canada's Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Regime.  They are looking for submissions on the discussion paper before April 30, 2018.  I have met FATF in the past when they were evaluating Canada's effectiveness in dealing with AML and ATF and there are significant concerns - especially relating to the legal sector in Canada.   

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February 01, 2018

CRA’s List of Areas of Non-Compliance with ITA Provisions for Canadian Private Foundations

February 01, 2018

CRA’s List of Areas of Non-Compliance with ITA Provisions for Canadian Charitable Organizations

January 27, 2018

Our directory of top resources for Canadian registered charities

Over the last 10 or more years, we have published over 2500 blog posts.  Except for a few avid readers, that might be a little overwhelming so we have started to create a directory of some of the top resources for Canadian charities.  This will be particularly helpful for those who are new to registered charity compliance issues or to the charity sector.

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January 25, 2018

With foreign activities what is the difference between a conduit and a structured arrangement?

Here is an updated article on the difference between a conduit and a structured arrangement - it is entitled Canadian Charities and Foreign Activities: Conduit versus Structured Arrangement.

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January 22, 2018

Common Paragraphs for an Administrative Fairness Letter from the Charities Directorate of CRA

Here is our note "Common Paragraphs for an Administrative Fairness Letter from the Charities Directorate of CRA". It contains explanations of common concerns that CRA may find during an audit that, unless appropriately addressed, may result in various penalties, sanctions or even revocation.

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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