What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA

July 04, 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.

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

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. 

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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/ 

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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. 

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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 15, 2019

CRA’s Technical Issues Working Group

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.    

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June 09, 2019

Comparison of the CRA’s Charities Listing and Blumbergs’ CharityData.ca

Here is our article "Comparison of the CRA’s Charities Listing and Blumbergs’ CharityData.ca" which looks at the two main public and free sources of data on registered charities in Canada.

May 27, 2019

CRA Q&A on new journalism qualified donee category

Here is a Q&A from CRA about the new journalism qualified donee category.  

May 24, 2019

Dramatic changes to the CRA Charities Listing

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.

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May 13, 2019

CRA’s Charities Directorate Inviting Feedback from Charities

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.

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May 08, 2019

CRA’s Charities IT Modernization Project (“CHAMP”) set to roll-out in June

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.

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April 30, 2019

Fundamentals of Receipting by Canadian Charities

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.

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April 30, 2019

Fundamentals of the T3010 and Transparency for Canadian Charities

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

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April 23, 2019

CRA’s Charities Education Program Letter

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. 

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April 23, 2019

Canadian Charity Legal Checklist by Mark Blumberg - April 2019

Here is our new Canadian Charity Legal Checklist.  For those who are interested in reviewing legal compliance for their registered charity, they may find the checklist helpful.  

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April 23, 2019

Recent Dept of Finance Report on Federal Tax Expenditures 2019 is worth taking a look at

The Federal Department of Finance has recently released its Report on Federal Tax Expenditures: Concepts, Estimates and Evaluations 2019.  For those interested in tax policy and tax incentives it always provides some interesting reading. 

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April 22, 2019

CFA Society of Toronto 2019 Wealth Conference

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

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March 28, 2019

CRA letter on amalgmation of registered charity and non-profit

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.  

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March 28, 2019

CRA tweaks to their guidance on registered charities carrying out activities outside of Canada

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

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March 28, 2019

CRA announces upcoming changes to the T3010 and T2050, removing Political Activities

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. 

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March 25, 2019

Blumbergs’ International Philanthropy Conference 2019 (SOLD OUT)

We are pleased to announce that we will be holding a full-day event on international philanthropy on April 12, 2019: Blumbergs' International Philanthropy Conference 2019. See below for more details and we hope to see you there.

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March 25, 2019

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Boot Camp 2019 (SOLD OUT)

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

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March 19, 2019

Canadian Federal Budget 2019 and its impact on non-profits and charities

Finance Minister Morneau delivered the 2019 Federal Budget today.  Here is our article "2019 Canadian Federal Budget - How will it affect the Canadian charitable sector?"

Finance has already released a Fall Economic Statement that did contain a number of initiatives relating to the charity sector and you can see our article "Finance 2018 Fall Economic Statement and its Impact on Canadian Charities, Journalism and Social Finance".   

March 13, 2019

US’s College Admission Scandal involves American Charitable Foundation

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.

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March 08, 2019

Good news on charity compliance education from CRA - the ‘Road Shows’ are coming back!

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!   

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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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