What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA
July 04, 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.
The price is $275 for the day. It includes breakfast, lunch, breaks, coffee and drinks, HST and handouts. There are early bird specials if you sign up early enough including the super early bird which expires July 31. For more information or to register here is a link to the Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Institute 2019.
July 01, 2019
The Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars. Registration is free but space is limited. Topics are subject to change.
June 28, 2019
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/
June 27, 2019
Canadian charities now have more options for doing certain transactions online using the CHAMP system. Charities should look into accessing their CHAMP account.
June 15, 2019
I have just completed 4 years on the CRA's Technical Issues Working Group. Most people don't even know that it exists. The Technical Issues Working Group is fondly known as TIWG and pronounced like 'twig'. It is an opportunity twice a year for CRA, Finance, certain charities and professional advisors to discuss technical and other issues affecting the sector.
May 27, 2019
Here is a Q&A from CRA about the new journalism qualified donee category.
May 24, 2019
CRA has recently updated its Charities Listing and the most notable change is the fact that they have reduced the amount of information available on each Canadian registered charity. The Charities Listing used to have up to 15 years of data for each charity, but now that has been reduced to only the last 5 years of data for each charity. There are concerns that this change reduces transparency and accountability within the charitable sector. While the information is still technically publicly available, now anyone who would like to review older data must first submit a request form to CRA and wait a few weeks instead of that information being instantly available.
May 13, 2019
The Charities Directorate of CRA has recently announced that it is looking for feedback from registered charities on CRA's videos, social media content, and other educational initiatives. This is an opportunity for registered charities to connect with CRA and help make educational information for charities more accessible and clear. Charities have until May 31, 2019 to submit any feedback, and we do encourage charities to do so. Below is the full text of CRA's letter.
May 08, 2019
CRA is set to introduce its online system for organizations applying for charitable status. Once this system is available on June 1, 2019, paper applications will no longer be accepted and organizations will only be able to apply for charitable status online using CHAMP. We suggest that if you are currently working on a charity application it may be best to complete it and file the application with CRA before May 31 to avoid having to re-input all the information on the T2050 form into the online system and potentially avoid any initial delays or issues associated with the new system.
April 30, 2019
Properly issuing official donation receipts has been challenging for many registered charities. According to the CRA, 89% of registered charities that are audited by CRA are not correctly issuing official donation receipts. Issuing incorrect receipts can result in revocation or penalties. It is easier to do it right than fix problems later! We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a 3-hour event Fundamentals of Receipting by Canadian Charities on Monday, June 10, 2019 at 8:30 am. Click here for more information and to register for this event.
April 30, 2019
Every year Canadian registered charities must file the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return with the Charities Directorate of CRA. In June 2019 Canadian registered charities will be able to file the T3010 online which will make the process easier and quicker. If charities do not file the form, they can be revoked by CRA for non-filing. If the T3010 is not filed accurately it can be cause for suspension of a charity's receipting privileges. On June 10, 2019 at 1pm, we will be hosting the Fundamentals of the T3010 and Transparency for Canadian charities, a 3-hour workshop on legal and practical issues relating to the T3010 filing and transparency for charities. Register here.
April 23, 2019
In December 2017, CRA introduced a new program, the Charities Education Program ("CEP") which is aimed at helping charities comply with the requirements for Canadian registered charities. CRA said it aims to visit 500 charities a year with this program. The primary targets for these visits are newer charities, as CRA is trying to ensure that the charity is starting off right and that the charity does in fact have adequate books and records.
April 22, 2019
I will be speaking at the CFA Society of Toronto 2019 Wealth Conference on May 1, 2019 dealing with the topic "Professional Advisors and Philanthropy: Helping clients and yourself navigate philanthropy". You can register for the program here.
March 28, 2019
Here is a redacted Advanced Income Tax Ruling Request response from CRA, dealing with the amalgamation of a registered charity and a non-profit. Registered charities and non-profits can amalgamate and as with all mergers or amalgamations there are a number of complexities and one should obtain legal advice.
March 28, 2019
The CRA's Guidance Canadian registered charities carrying out activities outside Canada indicates it was revised on January 29, 2019. As some of you know CRA has been looking at revising their foreign activity guidance however the changes made in January 2019 are just minor updates to reflect certain recent changes. CRA has been consulting on the foreign activity guidance and there are possibly more substantive updates coming. We look forward to having Anne MacDougall of the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency joining us to discuss these proposed revisions at the Blumbergs’ International Philanthropy Conference.
March 28, 2019
On March 15, 2019, CRA announced that there will be changes to the T3010 Annual Return and the T2050 Application to Register a Charity to account for the recent changes to the political activities rules for Canadian registered charities. Instead of reporting on their political activities, charities will report their public policy dialogue and development activities (PPDDAs). According to CRA, registered charities will have less to report for PPDDA than they previously reported for their political activities. The changes to the T3010 and T2050 are set to come in November 2019. Until the changes are made, CRA has provided instructions on how to fill out the current T3010 and T2050 for PPDDA.
March 25, 2019
The Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp will be held again on Monday April 8, 2019. This is a one-day boot camp on compliance and standards issues for Canadian registered charities. You can register for the program here.
March 13, 2019
There has been a lot of coverage of the college admission scandal in the United States, in which many celebrities and wealthy executives paid large sums of money (some over $1 million US) to cheat their children's way into top universities. While some will focus on which celebrities participated and corruption in the competitive admissions processes, we shouldn't overlook the fact that money involved in this scheme was funnelled through an American 501(c)(3) corporation, which is a charitable organization. This means that in addition to cheating the system, taking a spot from a deserving and qualified but less wealthy student, and continuing privilege of the rich and famous, some participants in this scheme were getting tax deductions for their bribe money.
March 08, 2019
The CRA announced today a number of different matters including "The Government is providing up to $5.3 million in new funding over the 2018–2019 to 2023–2024 period for the CRA to enhance sector outreach and education. This will include reinstating in-person information sessions and introducing videoconference information sessions for charities across Canada." It is so well hidden in the press release I barely noticed it!
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
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