The Canada Revenue Agency ('CRA') recently updated the T2050 form used by organizations when applying for charitable status with the Charities Directorate of the CRA.
On the last page of the form, CRA has included a privacy dislosure which indicates that CRA is collecting personal information as part of the application relating to the directors, trustees, like officials and authorized representatives of the organization. There are further details in the disclosure relating to the type of information being collected, what can/cannot be disclosed to the public, and a request by directors and like officials acknowledging the privacy disclosure before submitting an application. Organizations applying for charitable status are encouraged to inform directors and like officials that their personal information has been collected and is being disclosed to CRA as part of the application.
The privacy disclosure is as follows:
Personal information is collected under the authority of the Income Tax Act and is used to establish and validate the identity and contact information of directors, trustees, officers and/or like officials and authorized representatives of the applicant organization. This information will also be used as a basis for the indirect collection of additional personal information from other internal and external sources, which includes social insurance number (SIN), personal tax information, and relevant financial and biographical information, which may be used to assess the overall risk of registration with respect to the obligations of registration as outlined in the Act and the common law. The SIN is collected pursuant to subsection 237 of the Act and is used for identification purposes.
If the application is approved and the organization is registered, the CRA is permitted to make this form (including any attachments) and copies of the registration letter (including any conditions and warnings contained therein) available to the public, with the exception of the confidential information in Part 5 and Part 6. If registration is denied, the information will not be provided to the public. Personal information may also be disclosed to the applicant organization and/or its authorized representatives as well as other third parties pursuant to the disclosure provisions under Section 241 of the Act. Personal information may also be shared with other government departments and agencies under information-sharing agreements in accordance with the disclosure provisions under Section 241 of the Act. Incomplete or inaccurate information may result in the application being returned to the applicant, or may result in a refusal to register. Information is described in Charities Program CRA PPU 200 and is protected under the Privacy Act. Individuals have a right of protection, access to and correction or notation of their personal information. Please be advised that you are entitled to complain to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada regarding our handling of your information.
Notification to directors and like officials: The CRA strongly encourages the applicant to voluntarily inform directors and like officials that their personal information has been collected and disclosed to the CRA for the application process.
The updated CRA T2050 application form can be found here: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2050/t2050-fill-12-16e.pdf
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
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.