News

October 15, 2019

CRA Sending Out T3010 Reminders

CRA is now sending out reminders to registered charities to file their T3010s on time. This reminders are going out roughly 3 months before the charity's T3010 due date. Here is a redacted copy of the notice.

read more

October 13, 2019

Blumbergs Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2017

We are pleased to launch our Blumbergs Canadian Charity Sector Snapshot 2017  with information on the Canadian registered charity sector for 2017.  2017 is the last year that there is currently full data available.   

October 12, 2019

Some government of Canada material on social enterprise, social innovation and social finance

Here are some documents relating to social finance, social investments and social enterprise that have been requested by various people through the Canadian access to information system from the Canadian Federal Government.  These documents are probably of interest to some who are in the social finance and social enterprise space.

read more

October 08, 2019

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. 

read more

October 02, 2019

Is employer contribution to employee crowdfunding a taxable benefit?

There is an interesting letter from CRA dealing with "Whether an employer's contribution to an employee's crowdfunding campaign raising funds to help with additional costs for caring for their child, who was born with XXXXXXXXXX, is a taxable benefit."  The CRA provides an outline of the factors to be considered.  CRA notes that it is ultimately a question of fact - are the funds a "voluntary contributions received by an individual in their personal capacity" and if so they are generally not required to be included in income as opposed to employment income or disguised remuneration.  The employer would also not get to deduct the funds provided to the crowdfunding campaign as a business expense. 

read more

September 27, 2019

ONCA - does no update mean no ONCA?

I have been asking the Ontario government for months for an update on whether ONCA is coming into force and when.   On September 25, 2019 I received a short note from the Policy and Business Law Unit of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS).  They noted "Thank you for your inquiry to the ministry regarding the Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA).  The ministry is working to bring ONCA into force as early as possible."  In January 2019 they noted "The ministry is continuing to work to bring the ONCA into force as early as possible with a target of early 2020".[my emphasis] Note they seem to be omitting the part about targeting early 2020.  I guess we are supposed to read the tea leaves - does that mean that it will be coming in early 2020, some other time or not coming in at all.  Your guess is as good as anyone.   

read more

September 22, 2019

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2019

Join us on Monday October 7, 2019 in Toronto for the 8th Annual Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Institute. We will be featuring a number of speakers covering different legal and compliance issues affecting Canadian charities and non-profits.  It will be a full day packed with practical legal and ethical compliance information geared toward charities, professional advisors and those interested in regulatory issues affecting charities and the non-profit sector. Space is limited. Here is the agenda.  

The price is $275 for the day. It includes breakfast, lunch, breaks, coffee and drinks, HST and handouts. For more information (including the agenda) or to register here is a link to the Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Institute 2019.

September 21, 2019

CRA announces that it will still accept paper charity applications until September 30, 2019

CRA is encouraging non-profits that want to apply to become registered charities to use their new CHAMP system for the application process.   They recently made an announcement that they will still however accept paper applications using the old Form T2050 until September 30, 2019.   It is not clear whether they will not accept paper applications after that date or if they really want you to use CHAMP but they will accept a newer paper form called the T1789 (E) 19 for those who cannot access the CHAMP system.  We will see.  No doubt it is better for CRA and obtaining a timely response from CRA to use the online system but in light of the current challenges that some are having with that system they may still for a while continue to accept paper applications even if it slows down the process. We have been using a mix of online and paper applications depending on the client and whether they can authorize our firm to access their RR number on CHAMP.

read more

September 14, 2019

Just launched our 3rd online course “Fundraising from Canada: A course for groups outside of Canada”

We have just launched our 3rd online course - this one is entitled "Fundraising from Canada: A course for groups outside of Canada".   It is geared towards those outside of Canada thinking about fundraising in Canada and the options for structures that will assist including establishing a Canadian registered charity.   

read more

September 05, 2019

When will ONCA come into force and when will we find out more information?

Many people in Ontario are wondering what the status of ONCA is.  I just wrote this email to MGCS and look forward to hearing more and sharing it with the sector. 

read more

September 02, 2019

Elections Canada updates guide on political financing and third party registration

Elections Canada in late August 2019 updated their guide Political Financing Handbook for Third Parties Financial Agents and Auditors, which updates the last version of the guide which was published in June 2019.

read more

August 29, 2019

Tyee opinion piece “Why Environmental Groups’ Attack on Elections Canada Is Wrong, and Dangerous”

The Tyee, an online magazine, recently posted an opinion piece by Tom McMahon entitled "Why Environmental Groups’ Attack on Elections Canada Is Wrong, and Dangerous".  It is a very thoughtful piece from an individual who has a good understanding of electoral regulation.  It cautions that the attack on Elections Canada was wrong and dangerous and that we must be careful what we ask for.  It discusses changes in the US that led to a less than desirable political situation south of the border and he asks some environmentalists to "consider the dangerous door they are opening".

read more

August 29, 2019

CANADALAND Podcast on charities, political activities and the upcoming Federal election

CANADALAND recently had a podcast which dealt with a number of topics but one of them was charities, political activities, Elections Canada and the upcoming Federal election. The podcast was called "#227 Scandal? What Scandal?". In the podcast Jesse Brown is joined by Sandy Garossino, a former Crown prosecutor and columnist for the National Observer.  The discussion on charities and political activities takes place around 25:08 minutes in.

read more

August 29, 2019

Fundamentals of Running a Private or Public Foundation in Canada

Private and Public Foundations are an important part of the Canadian charity sector.  The Blumbergs' Fundamentals of Running a Private or Public Foundation in Canada will focus on compliance issues with an emphasis on those specifically relevant to running a private or public foundation that is a registered charity in Canada.  While some foundations give out a small amount each year – others are giving hundreds of millions.  Large gifts might have been $10-20 million a few years ago but are now $100 million and over. On September 17, 2019, we will be hosting a full-day event on public and private foundations. Register here

read more

August 27, 2019

Question to CRA on alter ego trusts and whether transfers are a donation

STEP Canada had a CRA Roundtable on June 6-7, 2019 and they discussed a number of topics.   One issue of interest to charities and philanthropists is Question 2 dealing with alter ego trusts and donations.   Essentially CRA takes the position that if an alter ego trust is required to distribute its funds to a charity then such funds are not a charitable donation and not entitled to an official donation receipt.   If on the other hand the trustees have discretion and there is donative intent then it could be a charitable contribution. 

read more

August 20, 2019

Misinformation about NPOs/charities and political activities during the election is spreading

There has been a lot of media and social media coverage over the last few days about non-profits and charities and the rules around their involvement in the upcoming election.  To my dismay, much of it has been inaccurate.  While I am quite used to misinformation on the obligations of charities what is most interesting is the way in which "serious" media organizations such as CBC apparently made no attempt to actually check what the rules are and have put forward ridiculous ideas such 'if a charity registers as a third party with Elections Canada they could lose their charitable status'. As well while there are some new rules in the Canada Elections Act the main rules dealing with third party registration during an election have been around for decades.   

read more

July 28, 2019

Making sense of CRAs new online Canadian charity application system

CRA in June 2019 brought in a new charity application system under their CHAMP modernization program.  Here is our article Making sense of CRAs new online Canadian charity application system which discusses the new system and also provides a paper copy of the questions on the new system. Some people, including professional advisors, have had challenges with the new system and hopefully this article will be of assistance.

We have a directory dealing with applications for charity status.  If you wish to apply for charity status in Canada and need legal assistance you can retain our law firm to assist.  Here is information on how to contact us. We have 9 lawyers who focus on working with non-profits and charities that are based in Canada and abroad.

July 26, 2019

Journalism panel submits report to Federal government about journalism proposals in 2019 Budget

The Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts released a report that they had provided to the Federal government relating to the 2019 federal budget and the proposals on journalism.   Here is a copy of the report.  As well here are minutes of their meetings

read more

July 24, 2019

Federal Court of Appeal upholds Revocation of Charitable Status

On June 24, 2019, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld CRA's decision to revoke Many Mansions Spiritual Centre, Inc. ("Many Mansions")'s charitable status in Many Mansions Spiritual Centre, Inc. v Canada (National Revenue).

read more

July 24, 2019

TCC Ruling on Failure to Maintain Adequate Books and Records with Foreign Activity and Suspension

On June 28, 2019, the Tax Court of Canada released its decision Promised Land Ministries v the Queen, in which it upheld CRA's decision to suspend the registered charity Promised Land Ministries ("PLM")'s receipting privileges for one year for failing to maintain adequate books and records over a foreign activity by the Canadian charity.  This case is vital reading for any Canadian charity conducting foreign activities because of its extensive discussion of books and records and foreign activities.

read more

July 18, 2019

Surplus Goods from the Federal Government - act before August 30, 2019

Yesterday, CRA announced that Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has surplus items and PSPC is inviting registered charities interested in receiving items to identify themselves. Registered Charities should contact PSPC prior to August 30, 2019.  Below is the full notice that we received from CRA:

read more

June 28, 2019

Online Charity Law Courses from Blumbergs - 24/7 compliance education for registered charities

We have created two new online courses for those outside of Toronto who are not able to easily attend our programs.  They might also be helpful to those in Toronto who cannot wait for our next session as they sometimes only occur annually.  Online course are never going to be the same as in-person courses but for many they are far easier to access and more convenient.  You can do an online course at your pace and redo sections if you wish.

The first course is "Should We Establish a Canadian Social Enterprise, Non-Profit or Charity and How to Do It?".   The course is $149 and you can register at https://charity-law.teachable.com/ 

The second course is "Receipting for Canadian Registered Charities".  The course is $225 and you can register at https://charity-law.teachable.com/ 

read more

June 27, 2019

Account changes for registered charities under CHAMP

Canadian charities now have more options for doing certain transactions online using the CHAMP system.   Charities should look into accessing their CHAMP account. 

read more

June 27, 2019

Objects of registered charities in Canada are sometimes not charitable

Here is our article on "Objects of registered charities in Canada are sometimes not charitable".  Objects are very important and often Canadian charities don't understand that even though they are a registered charity their objects may not actually be charitable.  

June 20, 2019

Senate releases report today on the non-profit and charitable sector

The Senate has had a standing committee that has been looking at the voluntary sector in Canada. They released their report today.  The report is entitled Catalyst for Change: A Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector.  It is over 189 pages long and has 42 recommendations.  

read more

Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?

Contact

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
Download vCard

Connect

Locate

Blumberg Segal LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
#1202 - 390 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 2Y2 Canada

Charity Law List

Join Blumbergs' non-profit and charities newsletter
View recent issue: September 2019