Canadian Charity Law

July 27, 2017

NYT coverage of Canadian donation to NS gallery and CPERB process

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.    

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July 25, 2017

Charities Directorate now using generic email address for certain purposes.

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 charservg@cra-arc.gc.ca 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.

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July 23, 2017

Coverage of recent revocations of two charities by the Canada Revenue Agency

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.

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July 12, 2017

Ontario government consulting on compensation of charity directors with court order

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.

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July 10, 2017

Now easier for non-profit corporations to move from Ontario to Federal jurisdiction

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. 

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July 08, 2017

CRA website to move on July 11, 2017 and that includes Charities Directorate

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.

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July 04, 2017

Another Canadian cancer charity merger covered by the Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail published an article titled "Canadian cancer charities merge amid crowded donation field" which discusses the recent merger between Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada and Colon Cancer Canada.  Although this has been compared to the recent merger of the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, the scale of this merger is much smaller. 

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June 28, 2017

Service standards for Corporations Canada and the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”)

Corporations Canada has service standards for the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act ("CNCA").   For example, an online incorporation is 90% of the time done either the day of filing or the next day.   Other incorporations are handled within 5 days 97% of the time.  Even amendments, revivals and continuances are only taking 5 days or less.  

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June 28, 2017

CASL - no private right of action but changes to implied consent rules

There were supposed to be 2 important changes taking place on July 1, 2017 with Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL).

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June 25, 2017

Corporations Canada is finalizing the dissolution of old CCA Federal non-profit corporations

Corporations Canada of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has been dissolving non-profit corporations that are under the Canada Corporations Act (CCA) but have not continued to the new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act ("CNCA").  Corporations Canada has advised me that as of June 13, 2017 there are only 304 remaining CCA non-profit corporations and that they are still processing some transitions.  

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June 24, 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. 

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June 21, 2017

CRA will no longer review charity applications with draft governing documents

The CRA sent out an email to certain stakeholders on June 20, 2017 announcing that they will no longer be accepting charity applications with draft governing documents.  We will discuss the impact below. For those wanting charity status, you will need to at least establish the organization ie. incorporate the corporation, establish the trust etc. if you want CRA to review your charity application. Practically, since December of 2014, we have not used draft applications and we have discouraged others from using them because of changes to the process which made them less useful.

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June 18, 2017

Charities, Regulation and Donors - some international perspectives from the CCLA

The Canadian Charity Law Association (CCLA) is pleased to present: Charities, Regulation and Donors - some international perspectives on June 22, 2017 at 8:30AM in Toronto.  The 1/2 day program will cover 4 thought provoking topics (see bios below) and have two excellent international guests.  The room can only hold 33 people so if you are interested book quickly.

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June 17, 2017

Some of the Canadian charities that spend the most on political activities?

In this article Some of the Canadian charities that spend the most on political activities? I have not only listed some of the Canadian charities that spent the most on political activities but also showed readers how they can find and sort the information themselves.  There is more to charities than just political activities and you can do your own searches depending on what information you need.  

June 16, 2017

Largest Gifts from Canadian Charities to Foreign Qualified Donees for 2015

There are over 294,000 records of Canadian charities gifting to qualified donees in total (both within and outside of Canada).  We reviewed the list and have compiled a list of gifts over $1.3 million to foreign qualified donees only for 2015.   Here is the "Largest Gifts from Canadian Charities to Foreign Qualified Donees for 2015".

June 14, 2017

Largest Gifts from Canadian Charities to other Qualified Donees for 2015

Here is a article "Largest Gifts from Canadian Charities to other Qualified Donees for 2015" with a list of all gifts over $1,000,000 from the 2015 T3010 Registered Charity Information Returns from one registered charity to another qualified donee.

June 12, 2017

Canadian Registered Charities Revoked as a result of Audit from 1992-2017

Over the past 25 years there have been 447 Canadian registered charities that the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has revoked as a result of audit, formerly known as revocation for cause.  Here is an article entitled "Canadian Registered Charities Revoked as a result of Audit from 1992-2017" with links to all the revoked charities on the CRA listing.

June 11, 2017

Total revenue received from all sources outside Canada by Canadian Registered Charities in 2015

Here is an article entitled Total revenue received from all sources outside Canada by Canadian Registered Charities in 2015 which lists the Canadian charities that received the largest contributions from outside of Canada.  

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June 09, 2017

Canada suspends part of CASL relating to “private rights of action” but rest applies to charities

The Government of Canada announced on June 7, 2017 that it is "suspending the implementation of certain provisions in Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) in response to broad-based concerns raised by businesses, charities and the not-for-profit sector."  These provisions were not yet in force but would have come in on July 1, 2017.   They would have allowed an individual who received a commercial electronic message that was in contravention of CASL to sue the organization and its directors, officers and agents that sent the non-compliant email.  The statutory damages could be quite large.   

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May 29, 2017

CRA to make automated calls to Canadian registered charities to file their T3010

The CRA has announced that it will make automated calls to Canadian registered charities to remind them to file their T3010 Registered Charity Information Return.  That is a positive step in using technology to remind charities of their filing obligations.  

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May 28, 2017

Ploughman v. The Queen, 2017 TCC 64

The recent decision of Ploughman v. The Queen, 2017 TCC 64 deals with a "third-party civil penalty" against Mr. Ploughman for his involvement in what CRA refers to as "abusive charity gifting tax shelter" but this decision refers to as a "donation program".  The court dealt with an appeal of the assessment of the third-party civil penalty and rejected Mr. Ploughman's appeal.

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May 28, 2017

Recent letters released by the Canada Revenue Agency

We have provided two letters recently released by the Canada Revenue Agency. The first letter from CRA discusses the income tax treatment of payments made by a church to a Syrian refugee family. The second letter from CRA discusses whether a registered charity can return a gift of a life insurance policy to a donor and if so, what are the tax consequences to the registered charity and to the donor.

May 28, 2017

CharityVillage webinar Charitable Receipting: Do’s and don’ts for Canadian registered charities

I recently delivered a webinar to CharityVillage on Charitable Receipting: Do’s and don’ts for Canadian registered charities.  If you are interested in seeing the slides or listening to the webinar you can do so at Charitable Receipting: Do’s and don’ts for Canadian registered charities

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May 27, 2017

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2017 - save the date!

We are pleased to announce the Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Institute 2017 will be on Monday October 16, 2017. Further details will follow.  Registration and early bird information is here.  

May 22, 2017

CRA welcomes the Panel Report on the public consultations on charities and political activities

In a press release entitled "Minister Lebouthillier welcomes the Panel Report on the public consultations on charities and political activities" CRA noted the receipt of a report on charities and political activities.  That report was reflective of the vast majority of the "nearly 20,000" submissions received as part of the consultation.   

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

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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
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