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 Canadian Charity Law Association is delivering some upcoming webinars. Registration is free but space is limited. Topics are subject to change.
Canadian registered charities often have to provide assistance to people in disasters. Does an individual or business have to include this amount in their income? CRA recently released a letter discussing this issue.
Corporations Canada is looking at changing their fees in relation to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) as well as some other acts. Some of the most common fees like filing the annual return will be reduced and others will be increased significantly. Some fees will be eliminated completely. Here is the full proposal for consultation. In general it is a fair proposal - encouraging people to move to electronic, making some most commonly done transactions cheaper and reflecting the real cost of certain other transactions.
The Institute of Legacy Management has published voluntary ethical guidelines for charities' legacy professionals, covering issues that can arise when charities receive or solicit a legacy or bequest, including: doubts about the source of the donor's income or the donor's character; the risks of unwelcome media interest; and communicating with hostile lay executors or families. You can find the guidance here. The Charity Times has also written about the guidance, which you can find here. Although it is a UK guidance it is helpful for Canadian charities.
The Toronto Star recently published an article: "Inside the offshore tax scheme that left iconic Olympian Donovan Bailey owing nearly $2.3 million in unpaid taxes". ; In the article, investigative reporter Jesse McLean covered a complicated scheme to help an athlete avoid Canadian taxes in part through making a donation to a registered charity which had actually lost its registered charity status because of non-filing of the T3010 annual return. The scheme did not work.
The article notes that "According to the tax plan, Bailey's donation would flow through a complicated web of transactions before the bulk of the money would make its way back to the sprinter, tax free, through an offshore trust".
Here is an article from the Law Times on the litigation: "Judge finds lawyer negligent for advice to Olympic skier", and here is a link to the actual case: Lindsay v. Aird & Berlis LLP, 2018 ONSC 7424 (CanLII).
Join us on Tuesday October 16, 2018 in Toronto for a financial capacity building workshop with Gordon Holley from Humanity Financial Management. Gordon will show organization leaders what they can do to increase the financial capacity of their charities and not-for-profit organizations.You can sign up here.