Federal and Provincial Cooperation in the regulation of charities in Canada

February 11, 2010 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News, What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA, Canadian Charity Law, Ethics and Canadian Charities, Avoiding 'Charity' Scams

It is not well known but the Federal and Provincial governments work collaboratively on charity regulation in Canada “to develop mutually beneficial public awareness and education products and projects.”.  Here is a little piece which illustrates some of the collaboration. 

“Working with Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Governments The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made a commitment to improve jurisdictional collaboration and educate the public about making informed decisions when they make charitable donations. As part of this commitment, the CRA’s Charities Directorate is pleased to contribute “Be an informed donor” to the November page in the Government of Ontario’s 2010 Smart Consumer Calendar, and the December page in the Government of Manitoba’s 2010 Protect Yourself Calendar. Both calendars provide advice designed to protect the public against fraud and scams. This is the sixth year that the CRA has collaborated with the Government of Ontario on the calendar, and the fifth year with the Government of Manitoba.

Since 2004, the CRA has collaborated with provincial and territorial governments to develop mutually beneficial public awareness and education products and projects. The Agency will continue its collaboration to help the public become informed donors.”

In the English calendar which is located at http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/Documents/Smart%20Consumer%20Calendar/Smart_Consumer_Calendar_10_en.pdf they note:

“BE AN INFORMED DONOR

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulates charities registered under the Income Tax Act. To protect yourself from fraud, the CRA recommends that you follow the tips below before donating to a charity:

Learn And Confirm
•Consult the CRA Charities Listings at http://www.cra.gc.ca/donors or call 1-800-267-2384 to confirm that a charity is registered with the CRA.
•Confirm that you will receive an official donation receipt if you want to claim a tax credit.
•Beware of schemes that promise you tax savings greater than your cost, thus allowing you to “profit” from donating to a registered charity.

Take Action
•Write cheques payable to the charity, not an individual.
•Make sure that your online donations are secure.
•Refuse to donate if there are signs of fraud, such as inappropriate pressure to give immediately or being offered a receipt for more than you actually donate.
•Report fraud to PhoneBusters at 1-888-495-8501. PhoneBusters is the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre managed on a tripartite basis by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the Royal CanadianMounted Police (RCMP) and the Competition Bureau Canada. 
http://www.cra.gc.ca/donors 1-800-267-2384 (toll-free)
Be an informed donor.”

 

For calendars in French, Spanish, Tamil, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese see http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/Smart_Consumer_Calendar.aspx

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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.

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