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Canadian Charity Law List

October 2017


CRA's Draft Guidance Advancement of religion and charitable registration is released through ATIP

There are approximately 32,000 registered charities in Canada that are religious charities. They account for approximately 40% of all the registered charities in Canada.  It is important that Canadian registered charities are aware of CRA‘s views on what is religion and when are activities of religious charities that are ostensibly religious not in fact “advancing religion”.  Or when are such activities providing undue private benefit.  We just obtained a copy of CRA's draft Guidance Advancement of religion and charitable registration through obtaining a copy of an ATIP request and it is important that charities and others interested in this topic are aware of the guidance. READ MORE

Blumbergs' release Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Ontario Charity Sector 2015

We recently reviewed the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return database for 2015 as part of the Sean Blumberg Transparency Project.   We had previously provided a 2015 overview of the whole Canadian registered charity sector in the Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Canadian Charity Sector 2015.   We have now taken a subset of the 2015 T3010 data to look at only registered charities based in Ontario.   This article provides a snapshot of the registered charity sector in Ontario based on the 2015 T3010 filings, which is the last complete set of T3010 information available to the public.  READ MORE

Changes to the Ontario Corporations Act that will affect Ontario non-profits before ONCA applies

As we noted earlier the Ontario government has been working since September 14, 2017 on passing legislation called The Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act, 2017 that not only makes some changes to the new ONCA but also changes the old Ontario Corporations Act.  I was a little bit surprised to see the changes to the OCA and how extensive they were.  I worry that this could be an indication that ONCA is not coming in for a very long time.  On the other hand, most of the changes to the OCA will be beneficial.  For many Ontario non-profit corporations under the OCA moving to the new Federal Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act ("CNCA") makes a lot of sense and could save a lot of aggravation.  But for those who don't want to move to Federal you will stay under the OCA and later ONCA and these changes will be applicable.  READ MORE

Charity Commission releases guidance on “grant funding an organisation that isn’t a charity”

The Charity Commission of England and Wales has released a guidance Grant funding an organisation that isn’t a charity. It sets certain standards when an English charity provides a grant to a group that is not a charity such as a non-profit or social enterprise, businesses or foreign groups that is not "or may not be" a charity.  In Canada when a Canadian registered charity gives funds to a "qualified donee" it is typically relatively straightforward and simple, however, when a Canadian charity transfer funds or resources to a non-qualified donee such as a foreign charity then these sort of rules apply.  In Canada it is called having a "structured arrangement" with direction and control. I will discuss the Canadian rules at the end. READ MORE


CRA presentation to Minister Lebouthillier on options in dealing with political activities

Here is a presentation from the Charities Directorate to Minister Lebouthillier about options for political activities.  It provides a good overview of the issues and some of the options.  It is provides a concise summary of some legislative and other changes. Some of the presentation is redacted.    READ MORE

Cassan v. The Queen - Tax Court of Canada does not accept donation loan program

The Tax Court of Canada recently released a judgment in the matter of Cassan v. The Queen.  It dealt with the EquiGenesis 2009-II Preferred Investment Limited Partnership and Donation Program which was offered by EquiGenesis Corporation.  It is a lengthy and complicated decision. READ MORE

Third-party civil penalty disclosure from CRA - 164m in penalties from 2009 - 2016

CRA has provided information through ATIP on third-party civil penalties from 2009 to 2016.  The number of completed third-party penalty audits where it was determined that the penalty would be applied is 67.  The amount of the penalties was about $164 million.   READ MORE

Letter from CRA rulings to the Charities Directorate on aboriginal bands

In July 2016 the Income Tax Rulings Directorate of CRA wrote to the Charities Directorate clarifying the procedure for reviewing whether aboriginal bands should be viewed as qualified donees.  Very importantly the CRA ITR Directorate concluded "it is our view that all bands created under the Indian Act meet the criteria to be considered municipal or public bodies performing a function of government in Canada for the purpose of paragraph 149(1)(c) of the Act and are therefore exempt from income tax."  READ MORE


Federal government consulting on “Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy”

In a press release from ESDC entitled "Canadians are invited to share their ideas on the development of a Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy", the Federal government is doing an online consultation on social innovation and social finance.  READ MORE

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care issued a Directive on Hospital Naming

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care issued a Directive on Hospital Naming.   Hospitals in Ontario will want to review the Directive carefully.  Also here is the Hospital Naming Approval Process.  Thanks to Ken Mayhew, Government Relations Liaison of AFP Canada for forwarding the documents.  READ MORE

Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) releases 2016-17 Annual Report

The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) has just released its 2016-17 Annual Report.  The report provides a very valuable look at the Australian non-profit and charity sector on the 5th anniversary of the ACNC.  It provides over 120 pages of information and great transparency of the regulation of charities in Australia.    READ MORE

Blumbergs’ Receipting Kit 2017 by Mark Blumberg

We have just released our updated Blumbergs' Receipting Kit 2017. The Blumbergs' Receipting Kit 2017 is for Canadian registered charities and other qualified donees who wish to issue official donation receipts under the Income Tax Act (Canada), which are sometimes referred to as "tax receipts".  It has a general description of how receipting should be conducted and then copies of documents and resources from the CRA and elsewhere that relate to receipting. READ MORE


Upcoming CPA Ontario charity program with Mark Blumberg

Mark Blumberg will be delivering an upcoming Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) charity program:  T3010 and Transparency in the Charitable Sector.   READ MORE

Upcoming Webinars for the Canadian Charity Law Association

The Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars.  Registration is free but space is limited.  READ MORE

Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?

Mark Blumberg

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.