News

May 17, 2018

Which Canadian charities received funds for political activities from foreign sources 2016

We recently looked at Which Canadian charities received funds for political activities from foreign sources in 2016?  We hope that you find the article interesting.  

May 17, 2018

Key statistics on Canada’s charity and non-profit sector

The Canadian charity and non-profit sector are an important part of the Canadian economy and have a huge impact on the lives of Canadians.   With the registered charity sector (approximately 86,000 organizations) the public has up-to-date and detailed information.  Unfortunately, with the 80-100,000 non-profits that are not registered charities (we don't even know how many there are) we have almost no information on the size and scope of that sector and there is little transparency on individual non-profits that are not registered charities. 

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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 16, 2018

Corporations Canada and CRA have teamed up to expedite the provision of business numbers

On May 10, 2018, Corporations Canada announced that for new Federal corporations that are newly incorporated, such as Federal non-profit corporations under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA), Corporations Canada would be providing the Canada Revenue Agency Business Number (BN) immediately after incorporation by email. 

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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

May 02, 2018

Finance Canada releases 2018 Report on Federal Tax Expenditures Concepts, Estimates and Evaluations

The Department of Finance has released the 2018 Report on Federal Tax Expenditures.  The document is over 300 pages and discusses the financial costs of certain Canadian tax measures including donation tax incentives.  These costs are referred to as "tax expenditures".   On page 287 there is an extensive discussion of the tax assistance for publicly listed securities or marketable securities under the heading "Evaluation of the Non-Taxation of Capital Gains on Donations of Publicly Listed Securities". Anyone interested in the topic of donating appreciable marketable security to charities will find the discussion interesting.

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April 28, 2018

Various programs on charity law in Fort McMurray with the Canadian Red Cross on May 29, 2018

I will be delivering three presentations in Fort McMurray on Tuesday May 29, 2018 around non-profits and charity compliance issues as well as setting up social enterprises, non-profits and charities.  If you are in the area you might find them helpful.

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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’s Guidance on advancement of religion as of May 2017

We recently wrote about obtaining the CRA guidance on advancement of religion at CRA’s Draft Guidance Advancement of religion and charitable registration is released through ATIP.  That article included a July 2016 version of the CRA guidance on religion which had not been released by CRA except through the ATIP request.  Apparently CRA has been using that guidance or similar guidance since 2013.  We recently obtained another copy of the draft guidance advancement of religion and charitable registration dated May 2017.  The text is identical to the 2016 version so we know that at least until May 2017 this document was the internal guidance of CRA on advancement of religion and charity registration.

April 24, 2018

Common Paragraphs from CRA in the Notification of Registration On Operating a Registered Charity

Here is our article Common Paragraphs from CRA in the Notification of Registration Regarding Operating a Registered Charity.  It provides many of the common warnings or suggestions from CRA that are included in Notifications of Registration from the Charities Directorate.   

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 14, 2018

CRA adds interesting feature to website A-Z index of topics

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.

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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 09, 2018

Some of my favourite Canadian charity bookmarks by Mark Blumberg

As a charity lawyer, I spend a lot of time using the internet to access databases and information on non-profit and charity issues.  Here are Some of my favourite Canadian charity bookmarks.  Hopefully it is helpful.  

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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April 06, 2018

Revenu Québec recently updated their form “Donees Required to File an Information Return”

Here is the form TP-985.22.G-V - Donees Required to File an Information Return (Revenu Québec) which certain organizations that carry on activities in Quebec must file.

April 05, 2018

Corporations Canada is introducing new “chat” service

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.   

April 04, 2018

List of Registered Charities that filed 2010 T3010 and answered yes for political activities

April 04, 2018

Presentation in Winnipeg on foreign activities by Canadian charities with MCIC

I am looking forward to delivering a presentation next week in Winnipeg on Canadian Charities Conducting Foreign Activities: Compliance Requirements.  I will discuss the rules for foreign activities but also some recent developments involving CRA.   

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April 04, 2018

Redacted lists of registered charities audited by CRA under the political activities program

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system Redacted lists of registered charities audited by CRA under the political activities program

March 30, 2018

Ahlul-Bayt Centre, Ottawa v. Canada (National Revenue) - irreparable harm and revocation

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. 

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March 28, 2018

CRA releases information on Universities Outside Canada - good news for foreign universities

Here is our article CRA releases information on Universities Outside Canada - good news for foreign universities.  This will be of interest to universities outside of Canada whether they are prescribed foreign universities or not.   

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.

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