We assist Canadian charities, their staff and boards of directors, to understand their legal and ethical obligations when operating a Canadian registered charity and provide insights and information to non-Canadian charities interested in operating or fundraising in Canada.
The charitable sector in Canada has become more challenging. It is highly competitive with over 86,000 Canadian registered charities. As well donors, regulators, media, the public as well as other stakeholders, have increasingly high expectations of charities and how they operate. We assist charities in Canada grapple with these important legal and standards issues.
There have been a large number of articles discussing the transparency of the Clinton Foundation and gaps or mistakes in their filings. Here is an article from the New York Times, the Washington Post and Bloomberg News. Here is a response from the Clinton Foundation blog to all the coverage.
Properly issuing official donation receipts has been challenging for many registered charities. According to the CRA, 89% of registered charities that are audited are not correctly issuing official donation receipts. Issuing incorrect receipts can result in revocation or penalties. It is easier to do it right than fix problems later! Here is a new half-day program from Blumbergs entitled "Fundamentals of Receipting by Canadian Charities".
Blumbergs will be holding a half-day seminar on May13, 2015, Fundamentals of Employment Law for Charities and Non-Profits from 9AM-12PM.
As many have noted the Ontario budget was not that exciting. There is one sentence on ONCA hidden at the end of a paragraph on business modernization. "As an early priority, the government will take steps to enable the proclamation of the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010." It is interesting that the government is concerned with modernizing corporate legislation as "a comprehensive review of corporate and commercial statutes has not been undertaken in the past 10 years". Wow 10 years! Well the Ontario Corporations Act has not been substantially changed since the 1950s (thats over 60 years!) and ONCA was passed in 2010 and still has not been brought into force.
We have blogged about the CRA Program Update 2015 separately but wanted to focus here on what the update provides in terms of information on the political activity audits of CRA's Charities Directorate. CRA should be commended for publishing a program update. I am certainly not aware of any regulatory requirement that they need to, but the program update does provide useful information for the charity sector. In the program update you have to read pretty far into the 5000 word document to see the "Charities and Political Activities" update but it is important so we have created a separate blog post.
Sowa v. Canada involves an alleged donation of $10,250 in 2006 by Emily Sowa. The Tax Court of Canada "doubted the truthfulness of the appellant’s claim that she donated $10,250.00." Also the purported receipt did not contain all the required elements. The FCA did not find any error on the TCC's part and dismissed the appeal with costs.