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.
The New York Times recently had an article Canada Debates Whether Gift of Leibovitz Photos Is Also a Tax Dodge which discusses a donation of photographs taken by Annie Leibovitz. There was also coverage in the CBC, another CBC and Toronto Star. The story is fascinating as it involves celebrities, tax incentives, valuation, and cultural property all in one.
In general if you have in the past sent documents to CRA it was done through mail, courier or fax. CRA recently introduced an email address firstname.lastname@example.org as an alternative option for communicating with CRA in certain circumstances. On CRA's website it has the email address only for their page Changing a charity’s director, trustee, or like official information.
Global News recently had coverage entitled "Government revokes group’s charity status, audit cites possible funding of Pakistani militants" which discusses two recent revocations of Canadian charities.
The Ontario Government is looking at adding a regulation to the Charities Accounting Act that would allow in certain circumstances compensation for directors without specific legislation or court order. "The regulation would authorize incorporated charities to pay their directors and persons related to them, for goods, services, or facilities, without obtaining a court order, provided specific conditions are met." I have some concerns with the proposal and will blog in the future about that. The proposal was posted on July 10, 2017 and comments are due by August 29, 2017.
The Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) permits a not-for-profit corporation that is incorporated under another act (such as a provincial non-profit act) to continue (import) to the CNCA provided that the other act permits the continuance. This allows a not-for-profit corporation to effectively re-incorporate under the CNCA and be governed by it as though it was incorporated under it. The Federal government has now made it easier for Ontario corporations to move to Federal. This will be helpful for some of the 50,000 Ontario corporations who may wish to skip ONCA and move directly to the CNCA.
The Canada Revenue Agency's website, which includes the Charities Directorate, will apparently be moving to the new www.canada.ca domain on July 11, 2017. The old CRA pages will remain up during the interim period of the move. Hopefully those visitors who go to pages on the old website will be automatically redirected to the new website.