April 19, 2018
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.
April 14, 2018
The Charities Directorate of the CRA appears to be making further changes to their website. It moved in 2017 to the main Canada.ca Federal government website. Now I noticed their A-Z index of topics is now searchable. I think this new functionality is very helpful. I had commented on how helpful this list is in the past and having it be searchable is even more helpful. Hopefully, CRA will continue working on the searchable list to make it more relevant and easier for people to find information.
April 11, 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
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.
April 05, 2018
Corporations Canada has announced that they will be introducing a new chat service. It will be available on April 12, 2018 and it will allow people to contact Corporations Canada by an online chat facility instead of by phone or email etc. You will be able to find it on their "Contact Us" page.
March 30, 2018
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.
March 27, 2018
Understanding legal compliance for registered charities is not easy but Blumbergs is offering exciting new upcoming events in 2018 that will help.
March 26, 2018
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
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.
March 24, 2018
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:
March 24, 2018
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!
March 24, 2018
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.