There is a list called “foreign charities that have received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada”.  As the name suggests a group that gets a “gift” from the Federal government can apply to CRA to be on the list for a period of 2 years.  Being on the list means that the foreign charity can issue official donation receipts to Canadians and also receive gifts from Canadian charities.  When a Canadian charity provides funds to a foreign group that is listed as a qualified donee under this category there is no need for direction and control.  The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation has been added till February 19, 2021.  Groups that are on the list must be careful to only issue official donation receipts in accordance with the Income Tax Act of Canada.

A list of currently registered foreign charities include:

  • Poland  – Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation
  • Switzerland – Aga Khan Foundation
  • United States  – Council for Canadian American Relations
  • United States –  Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Why is this status important?

For a person in Canada who pays taxes, they can save between 50-70% on their taxes by donating to a qualified donee and now that Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation is a qualified donee donations to Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation will receive a similar tax benefit as if a person gave a donation to a Canadian charity.  Also foundations can make gifts to qualified donees (although they do not need and do not receive an official donation receipt).