Canadian registered charities must file their Registered Charity Information Return (Form T3010) on an annual basis within 6 months of their fiscal year end. Generally, CRA will send the T3010 package (which includes the peel-off labels) to the Charity’s mailing address within a month of a Charity’s fiscal year end. And if not yet filed, CRA will send a Reminder to file the T3010 to registered charities by regular mail after the initial T3010 package was sent.
A sample of this Reminder to Registered Charities to File a Return can be found here. Often, charities see this Reminder and often press the panic button as it may seem they are overdue in its T3010 filing. But this Reminder is merely a friendly notice from CRA to remind charities that the T3010 filing deadline is fast approaching. Sometimes charities might think 6 months is a long time to prepare the T3010 but we always recommend for charities to prepare their T3010 months in advance of the due date to ensure the information in the T3010 is accurate, include all applicable schedules, have it reviewed by multiple staff persons within the Charity or by a third party (i.e. lawyer), etc. The biggest consequence for failing to file a T3010 can lead to losing charitable status. Therefore, it’s better to not wait until the last minute to prepare and file the T3010.
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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.