I am so excited and it is not that I am going away on vacation today for a week. The new T3010B Registered Charity Information Return, which is filed by Canadian charities for fiscal year ends beginning January 1, 2009 are now available online. Until yesterday it was only the T3010A (the old registered charity information return) that was available. There is a lot of additional information in the T3010 that is really exciting and provides stakeholders in the charity sector greater information on the individual charities and by aggregation the whole sector.
The charities directorate announced “2009-12-04 The Charities Directorate is now displaying the T3010B, Registered Charity Information Return on its Web pages. Once you have received your search results by using the Basic Search or the Advanced Search, click on the Return icon to view T3010 information, including T3010B returns for those charities whose fiscal period ends on or after January 1, 2009.”
Some of the things I like about the T3010 online include:
1) They identify what information you are getting online and what information you are not getting eg. confidential information
2) For charities that conduct foreign activities there is now a Schedule 2, Activities Outside Canada, which provides greater information on those foreign activities including who the intermediaries are and how much they have been paid. This information is similar to the disclosure requirements for US charities to the IRS http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f990sf.pdf
3) There is also greater information on “gifts in kind” ie. non cash gifts.
4) There is greater salary disclosure in terms of the ranges of salaries for top employees under Schedule 3: Compensation (just a little aside - employees in the charity sector deserve to be paid a reasonable salary - not always can something be done with volunteers.)
5) There is greater financial information available.
Charities, especially bigger ones with dedicated finance staff, should check that the information has been inserted correctly by CRA. If they notice a mistake they should go to http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/prtng/rtrn/mndng-eng.html and arrange to fix it. For those like myself who are not that strong at math it is worth remembering that little typos like the insertion of an extra zero on your fundraising costs or a missing zero or two on your charitable activities can make your organization look really innefficients etc. Admittedly perhaps not as bad as having your organization involved with abusive charity donation scheme or the professional advisors who are involved with setting them up and/or advocating for them!
Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto, Ontario. To find out more about legal services that Blumbergs provides to Canadian charities and non-profits please visit http://www.canadiancharitylaw.ca or http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca Mark can be contacted at or at 416-361-1982.
This article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice. You should not act or abstain from acting based upon such information without first consulting a legal professional.
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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.