There are a few hundred foreign universities (ie. universities outside of Canada) that can issue Canadian official donation receipts and are therefore “qualified donees” similar to registered charities. The list of these universities was hidden on page 1550 of a regulation to the Income Tax Act. Now the list will be more easy to access on the Charities Directorate website.
Here is the list:
Here is further information from the CRA on this category of qualified donee:
Prescribed Universities Outside Canada
1. What is the current status of Prescribed Universities Outside Canada under the Income Tax Act?
Prescribed Universities Outside Canada enjoy the same “qualified donee” status as registered charities, meaning they can issue official donation receipts for gifts that then allow donors to claim tax relief, and as qualified donees they can receive funds from registered charities.
2. What are the new requirements for Prescribed Universities Outside Canada?
Budget 2011 proposes that Prescribed Universities Outside Canada be on a publicly available list maintained by the CRA in order to continue to be recognized as qualified donees. These universities will also be required to keep books and records supporting any official donation receipts they issue, and to provide these to the CRA upon request.
3. What are the consequences if a Prescribed University Outside Canada does not comply with these rules?
If a Prescribed University Outside Canada fails to keep books and records supporting any official donation receipts it issues, and to provide these to CRA upon request, or is involved in the improper issuance of donation receipts, the CRA may suspend its receipting privileges or revoke its qualified donee status.
4. What are the requirements for being a Prescribed University Outside Canada?
To be considered for prescribed status, a foreign educational institution must:
•maintain an academic entrance requirement of at least secondary school matriculation standing;
•be organized for teaching, study and research in the higher branches of learning;
•be empowered, in its own right, to confer degrees of at least the baccalaureate level (Bachelor or equivalent), according to academic standards and statutory definitions prevailing in the country in which the university is situated; and
•ordinarily include Canadian students in its student body.
Further information on the requirements can be found in CRA’s publication RC191, Donations to Prescribed Universities Outside Canada.
5. Is there a current list of these universities?
Yes. The educational institutions that are prescribed to be “universities outside Canada” for this purpose are listed in Schedule VIII of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations. Once added to Schedule VIII, prescribed universities will automatically be added to the new CRA’s public list that will be maintained on the CRA Web site.
6. What will happen if a prescribed university is removed from CRA’s list?
It will no longer have qualified donee status. In addition to being listed in Schedule VIII of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations, a prescribed university must be on the CRA’s public list to maintain its qualified donee status.
7. Are books and records required to be kept in Canada?
No. Prescribed universities may keep their books and records in their own jurisdiction but must make them available in Canada at the request of the CRA.
8. When do these new rules apply?
The rules will apply on or after the later of January 1, 2012, and Royal Assent of the implementing legislation. During the interim period, prescribed universities outside Canada will continue to be eligible for qualified donee status based on the current rules.
9. Where will I find more information on the proposed measures?
As further information is developed, it will be available on the Charities and Giving Web pages.
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.