February 13, 2017

Corporations Canada gives final final notice that non-profits must continue

A notice from Corporations Canada of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada) entitled "Last chance for not-for-profits to transition" has been sent out reminding non-profits that if they are still under the old Canada Corporations Act that they need to transition to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act or they will be dissolved.  The final final deadline is July 31, 2017 to have completed the process.  

read more

February 12, 2017

More CRA guidance on cause-related marketing by Canadian registered charities

The CRA has added a page on cause-related marketing page to the receipting part of their website.  The CRA seems largely concerned that in some cases no official donation receipt should be issued when there is a cause related marketing arrangement between a Canadian charity and a for-profit company.

read more

February 10, 2017

CRA has new Checklist Tool for charities applying to be a registered charity

If you are into technology and like to click things and then see those clicks magically be reflected in a newly generated page then you are going to love CRA's new Checklist Tool for Canadian registered charity applications.  It allows for lots of clicking. It also provides some useful information. Perhaps this new technological solution/format will be good for those who are not interested in reading CRA's Guide T4063, Registering a Charity for Income Tax Purposes.  Perhaps more charity applications will be better prepared and therefore require a less detailed CRA response. Perhaps this will result in faster charity processing times which now can range from 2 months to 12 months. As we have noted about ten days ago most charity applications are not being accepted by CRA.

read more

February 10, 2017

Charity Commission case report on charity political activity AND funding non-charity

The Charity Commission has released a case report that deals with political activities of a UK charity and also its funding of a non-charity.  This case report is interesting from a Canadian perspective as there have been people in Canada advocating for changes to the rules relating to Canadian charities and political activities and also "direction and control" by Canadian charities when they are providing resources to non-qualified donees (such as foreign organizations).  This particular case report covers both of these types of issues.

read more

February 01, 2017

Today the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation merged

In October 2016 the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation announced that they were looking at a merger.  Today the CCS sent out an email announcing "On behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), I am thrilled to announce that effective today, we have officially merged operations with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF)."

read more

Topics: Mergers

January 31, 2017

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

January 30, 2017

Terrorist attack at mosque in Quebec City claims 6 lives

On Sunday January 29, 2017 there was a terrible tragedy in Quebec City. A right-wing terrorist massacred six people praying at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec and injured almost 20 others.  This is the worst terrorist attack in Canada in over 25 years.

read more

January 29, 2017

What are the chances of your Canadian charity application succeeding?

In Canada, the Charities Directorate of CRA reviews carefully all registered charity applications.  Some of the latest statistics from the CRA show that most charities that apply for registration are not granted it.  It is not that these organizations are bad - but you have to meet all the criteria for a registered charity to be accepted by CRA.  While 1670 were accepted in 2015-16 fiscal year, many more received unfavarouble decisions.  Unlike the US in which the 501c3 application process appears to have been stripped down to almost nothing - here in Canada there is still a vigorous process to protect the integrity of the registered charity system.

read more

January 22, 2017

The second best Canadian registered charity transparency tool has been improved

In August 2016 we launched a website to improve transparency on Canadian registered charities.  It is at www.charitydata.ca  We have just made a number of improvements to the website.

read more

January 16, 2017

Guidance for Professional Athletes considering Philanthropy in Canada

Kate Robertson and Mark Blumberg recently prepared an article, "Some thoughts on Professional Athletes and Philanthropy in Canada: Part 1" which provides helpful information and guidance for professional athletes and their trusted advisors who are exploring philanthropic options in Canada.  Part 2 of this article series will provide suggestions and tips for professional athletes on operating a successful Canadian registered charity.

January 04, 2017

CRA’s Report on the Charities Program - useful information on the Canadian charity sector

The CRA released a report today entitled Report on the Charities Program.  It has lots of useful information on the charity sector, regulation of charities, statistics relating to the Charities Directorate and various new developments.  

read more

December 28, 2016

Ignorance isn’t bliss for large registered charities anymore as CRA focuses audits on them

CRA uses a risk based approach to deciding which charities are to be audited. CRA a few months ago announced they are adjusting their audit strategy to focus more on larger Canadian registered charities. I guess someone in the past might had thought that smaller organizations, many without any staff, might be less legally compliant and they should be focused on. I guess someone now at the Charities Directorate has worked out that larger organizations have a large amount of resources, generally a lot more complexity and are more likely to be non-compliant with the requirements of the Income Tax Act and such non-compliance could affect much larger amounts of resources.

read more

December 27, 2016

CRA closes consultation on political activities with a press release

The CRA has recently completed a 2 1/2 month consultation with Canadians on the ability of Canadian charities to conduct political activities. Here is the full text of the CRA press release on the closing of the political activity consultation on December 14, 2016:

read more

December 27, 2016

What is a “development project” and how can this add further flexibility to foreign activities

CRA's Guidance CG-002, Canadian Registered Charities Carrying Out Activities Outside Canada discusses a "development project".  The guidance provides Canadian registered charities greater leeway in certain instances when conducting a "development project" to be able to hand over capital assets and immovable assets to a foreign non-qualified donee.  I have always thought that a development project would be carried out in what is referred to as the Global South/Third World/Developing Countries (the "South") and would be trying to reduce poverty, promote education, improve the environment, or improve access to health care to provide some examples.

read more

December 27, 2016

Charity Commission report into a former charity named REDAID -lots of lessons for Canadian charities

The Charity Commission of England and Wales recently published an Inquiry Report into a former charity named REDAID.  It is well worth reading.  In Canada, directors of registered charities sometimes focus too much on the Income Tax Act requirements of a charity and ignore or are unaware of their fiduciary obligations.  Directors of registered charities have fiduciary duties that in some cases can be at a much higher standard than that which is provided under the Income Tax Act.  

read more

December 26, 2016

Which Canadian Private Foundations had the largest total expenditures in 2013-2015?

We recently reviewed the private foundations contained on the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return for 2013, 2014 and 2015.   We looked at who had the largest expenditures, what their total assets were and the percentage of total assets that were disbursed in that particular year.  Here are the results:

read more

December 23, 2016

BC Societies Act now in force

British Columbia’s new Societies Act (the “new Act”), which replaces the previous Society Act (the “old Act”), was passed on May 14, 2015, and recently came into force on November 28, 2016. Societies incorporated in British Columbia will have two years from November 28, 2016 to transition to the new Act.

read more

December 21, 2016

Did charitable giving in Canada really hit a 10-year low?

I recently read a press release from a Canadian think tank that said “Charitable giving in Canada hits 10-year low”. They proposed “In total, Canadians claimed $9 billion in charitable donations in 2014. But had Canadians donated in 2014 at the same rate as in 2006, Canada's charities would have received an additional $3.6 billion, for a potential total of $12.6 billion."  They also noted that Americans gave 1.42 per cent of their income to charity in 2014 -- more than two-and-a-half times what Canadians gave.” I guess their main points were that Canadians are becoming less generous and Canadians are not as generous as Americans.  I have issues with the arguments and the methodology.

read more

December 21, 2016

CRA releases new form for charities to change director, trustee, or like official information

The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently released a new form which allows charities to easily update CRA on any changes to their directors, trustees or like officials.  The Charities Directorate will not speak to an individual on matters relating to a Canadian registered charity unless they are an authorized representative of the charity so it is important that CRA has up to date and accurate information on file relating to a charity's directors, trustees or like officials.

read more

December 18, 2016

The Rodney Dangerfield of Canadian tax incentives

There is an amazing tax incentive available to Canadians.  Few people who are knowledgeable about charities want to discuss it. It just does not get any respect! I am referring to the ability of Canadians to donate to "foreign prescribed universities".  For a foreign university to be eligible to be on the list that university needs to be a university that typically has Canadian students studying there. Then once the university is on the list, the Canadian donor obtains the same tax benefits as if they donated to a Canadian university or registered charity even if they have never visited the university or even the country it is located in.

read more

December 16, 2016

Charities, Privacy and Screening Donors

Recently in the UK there were fines imposed by the Information Commissioner’s Office on two prominent charities.  This raised the issue of charities and privacy of donor information.

read more

December 09, 2016

CRA releases new Guidance on Relieving conditions attributable to being aged

Canada Revenue Agency recently released a new CRA guidance, CG-026, Relieving conditions attributable to being aged and charitable registration that replaces the previous CPS-002 Relief of the Aged CRA guidance. 

read more

November 25, 2016

CRA has released a folio on “Split-receipting and Deemed Fair Market Value”

CRA has just released a chapter in their Income Tax Folio series for charities and non-profit organizations.   The new part is S7-F1-C1, Split-receipting and Deemed Fair Market Value.  Income Tax Folios are CRA’s official summary of its interpretation on certain income tax matters and this is the first chapter for Folio 1 Charitable Gifts and Deductions. The new folio relates to subsections 248(30) to (41) of the Income Tax Act (Canada), which contain the split-receipting rules and deemed fair market value rule.

read more

November 24, 2016

Recording available for CCLA webinar by Mark Blumberg on CRA’s political activities consultation

Mark Blumberg recently presented a webinar for the Canadian Charity Law Association (CCLA) to discuss CRA’s consultation on political activities and the importance of Canadian charities conducting political activities.   The deadline for submissions to CRA has been extended to December 14, 2016.

read more

November 24, 2016

Submissions being accepted for Canada’s Volunteer Awards

Employment and Social Development Canada is running the Canada’s Volunteer Awards program, to recognize the outstanding contributions of individual volunteers, not-for-profit organizations and businesses in Canada that are helping communities. 

read more

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

Contact

Charity Lawyer 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.

mark@blumbergs.ca
416.361.1982
Download vCard

Connect

Locate

Blumberg Segal LLP
Barristers & Solicitors
#1202 - 390 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 2Y2 Canada

Charity Law List

Join Blumbergs' non-profit and charities newsletter
View recent issue: December 2016