What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA

September 02, 2009

Canadian charities and holding shares of subsidiary corporation carrying on business

This CRA letter deals with “whether a charity’s status is at risk where the charity holds shares of a subsidiary corporation carrying on a business involving rental and sale of real estate”

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September 01, 2009

Canadian charities and intermediate sanctions by the Canada Revenue Agency

It used to be that if a registered charity was non-compliant CRA either revoked the charity or could do little about the non-compliance.  The times have changed.  With the introduction of “intermediate sanctions” CRA now has lots more flexibility in how it deals with non-compliance.  For example if you issue a receipt that contains false information CRA can fine the charity 125% on the eligible amount stated on the receipt.  If a Canadian charity working with a foreign charity (or other non-qualified donee) does not maintain direction and control over transfers of funds and resources then such behaviour can land a charity with a 105%-$110% penalty on the amount of the transfer.  Ouch!.

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August 22, 2009

Charity Directorate Web Statistics for 2008/2009

Here are the 2008/2009 web statistics for the English part of the CRA website sorted by most visited pages.

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August 21, 2009

Terry de March stepping down as Director General of the Charities Directorate - but staying at CRA

It was with sadness that I read that Terry de March will be stepping down as Director General of the Charities Directorate.  Thankfully he is not going far.  While Terry de March is leaving his position of Director General, Charities Directorate, he will be remaining at the CRA as a Special Advisor to the Assistant Commissioner of the Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch of the CRA, continuing to support the ongoing development of the charities regulatory program.

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August 20, 2009

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Charity Directorate, consultations and guidance documents for 2008-2009

Here is a copy of an article I wrote for the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) National Charities and Not-for-Profit Law Section newsletter Charity TalkA busy year: CRA consultations and guidance documents for 2008-2009 http://www.cba.org/cba/newsletters-sections/2009/2009-08_charities.aspx#article2

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August 20, 2009

CRA consultation on foreign activities - some key points

The CRA in June released their “Consultation on the Proposed Guidance on Activities Outside of Canada for Canadian Registered Charities”.  The Consultation is at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cnslttns/ccrc-eng.html   Here is a copy of an earlier paper that I delivered to the 2009 National Charity Law Symposium of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) Charity and Not-for-Profit Law Sections entitled New CRA Foreign Activities Guidance:
Charities Circumnavigating the World Without Falling Off the Edge
.  It discusses what is new with CRA’s views on foreign activities based on a draft CRA paper.

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August 15, 2009

Upcoming Charity Law Presentations in Canada by Mark Blumberg for CapacityBuilders

For a list of some of my upcoming workshops for CapacityBuilders you can visit http://www.capacitybuilders.ca/clip/clip.php

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August 11, 2009

CRA Announces 2009 Charities Information Sessions (formerly Roadshows)

The CRA has begun announcing their free 2009 Charities Information Sessions (formerly Roadshows) at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/cmmnctn/sssns/nvttns/menu-eng.html

August 01, 2009

CRA releases fillable T2050 Application to Register a Charity Under the Income Tax Act

The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency just released a fillable T2050 Application for charitable status which will make it easier for organizations to complete the form and presumably make it more legible.  You can obtain a copy of the form at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2050/README.html Although the form may look simple, and is now easier to fill in, it is actually a form covering many different areas of charitable law and it is often a good idea to get some legal advice and assistance with incorporation and applying for charitable status.

August 01, 2009

Revised CRA questions and answers on applying for registered charity status

Here is a revised CRA “Questions and Answers” for charitable registration http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/pplyng/fqr-eng.html

July 27, 2009

Charity Law Information Program (CLIP) - Annotated T3010B Registered Charity Information Return

Here is a copy of the Annotated T3010B http://www.capacitybuilders.ca/clip/clip-resources.php from CLIP.  It will be updated periodically to include different information from different sources.

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July 26, 2009

Gifts by Canadians to US Charitable Organizations - Some general CRA comments

Here is a copy of a recent letter from CRA with respect to gifts by Canadians to U.S. charitable organizations.  It summarizes CRA’s views on the subject.

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July 25, 2009

New T2050 (09)  from CRA for charity status applications

In late July 2009 CRA changed the 2008 T2050 form to the new T2050 (09) - they added a few blank pages to the 2008 revised application form for example for the description of activities.The new form can be found at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2050/

July 04, 2009

CRA publishes warning on issuing official donation receipts for gifts of services by Charities

CRA has just published a reminder to charities that “Issuing receipts Caution: Gifts of services.  A registered charity is not permitted to issue an official donation receipt for a gift of service. At law, a gift is a voluntary transfer of property. Gifts of services (donated time, skills, or efforts) provided to a charity are not property, and therefore do not qualify as gifts for the purposes of issuing official donation receipts.”

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July 01, 2009

Is transfer of proceeds to Canadian registered charity a gift? CRA discusses one situation

June 30, 2009

Consultation on the Proposed Guidance on Activities Outside of Canada for Canadian Reg. Charities

CRA has just released “Consultation on the Proposed Guidance on Activities Outside of Canada for Canadian Registered Charities”. CRA is seeking input and comment by September 30, 2009.  The Consultation was at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/cnslttns/ccrc-eng.html [It has now moved to http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cnslttns/ccrc-eng.html]  Here is a permanent copy of the Consultation on the Proposed Guidance on Activities Outside of Canada for Canadian Registered Charities   Proposed Guidance on Activities Outside of Canada for Canadian Registered Charities in PDF and here is a larger font printable version

I recently prepared a paper on an earlier draft of the guidance at:

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June 26, 2009

Canada Revenue Agency Guidance on Fundraising by Canadian charities

[Here is CRA’s 2012 updated fundraising guidance information - http://tinyurl.com/8x99n2j ] CRA has just released its Guidance on Fundraising by Canadian charities.  You can see the document in English at:  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cps/cps-028-eng.html and in French at:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cps/cps-028-fra.html It is 35 pages at 9.5 font.  To make it easier to read I here is my slightly larger font (13 point font) version of the Guidance on Fundraising from CRA which is placed it in one PDF document if that helps anyone who wants to save it to their laptop or desktop and make notes on the document.  For those who find it more convenient the Charity Law Information Program (CLIP), which is supported in part by funding from the Canada Revenue Agency, has taken the main document and inserted the content of the “Additional Information” directly next to the part of the the Guidance it is referring to. A reader can read the guidance from beginning to end without having to jump backwards and forwards between the two documents. The CLIP version of Fundraising Guidance is at: http://www.capacitybuilders.ca/files/resources/CRA_Fundraising_Guidance_1259599283.pdf
Whatever version you wish to use - this is a guidance document that anyone involved in governance and fundraising of charities should review.

For those that are interested in knowing more about the Fundraising Guidance as well here is a free 1 hour webinar on the CRA Fundraising Guidance - you can download it here https://ocsa.webex.com/ocsa/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=TC&rID=440027&rKey=482cc2c6dcf99042&act=pb

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June 24, 2009

CRA discusses split receipting of donations to a church

This CRA letter discusses when a registered charity (a church), will fund the attendance of children to a week long camp that is associated with the church and when the children that will attend the camp are not children of the church members and otherwise deal at arm’s length with the members whether the donations would be considered to be gifts.

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June 24, 2009

CRA provides comments on split receipting and donations when child benefits

The CRA recently discussed when a charity that provides affordable housing for people with intellectual disabilities is to receive a donation from a parent then “Can a charitable tax receipt be issued when parents make a donation to the charity to ensure accommodation for their child?”

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June 01, 2009

CRA Charity Checklist on Terrorism

Here is a “Checklist for Charities on Avoiding Terrorist Abuse” put out by the Charity Directorate of Canada Revenue Agency.  It is a concise and helpful tool for charities to use to ensure that their resources are not misused by those who support or are involved with terrorism.  Many charities tell me that terrorism is not an issue for them - in fact the precautions suggested in this checklist are just as important for charities to understand and impliment to avoid money laundering, tax evasion, and general missappropriation of resources for non-charitable purposes.  Terrorism is local as well as international.  (for example the FLQ and the Oklahoma City bombing).  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/chcklsts/vtb-eng.html

May 31, 2009

Canada Revenue Agency publishes sample T3010B and sample financial statements - very helpful

The CRA has just published a sample: T3010B, Registered Charity Information Return, with accompanying forms and financial statements.  This will be very helpful to charities as the T3010B is a new form.

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May 31, 2009

Sample Financial Statement for Canadian Charity on CRA website

If you are looking for a sample financial statement for a Canadian charity CRA has just published one of their website.  Every Canadian charity in addition to filing the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return needs to file with that return a financial statement.

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May 28, 2009

CRA charity webinars take off -now webinar on T3010B on June 3 2009

CRA has been piloting charity webinars recently. I understand that they have had a very good reception and that on the last e-mail announcement 400 people signed up in less than 2 hours.  Here is information on their past webinars and future ones if you are interested.

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May 28, 2009

CRA Releases Registered Charity Newsletter 32 - discusses new applications, T3010B, webinars,

Here is the latest CRA Registered Charity Newsletter # 32.  It includes an extensive discussion on applications for charity status and how to improve your application and avoid unnecessary delays.  It sets out the procedures that CRA will follow upon receiving a charity application.

May 28, 2009

Triumphant Church of Christ Intl. v. The Queen (FCA) -quick revocation not denial of natural justice

This case deals with a church who lost its charitable status for lack of proper record keeping.  We learn from this case that because CRA moves quickly to revoke status does not mean that the “requirements of natural justice and procedural fairness” are not respected.  In this case the court found that the appellant was given several opportunities to respond to the concerns that CRA and they in their response did not satisfy CRA.

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


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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