Applying for Registered Charity Status

May 12, 2018

CRA’s Fundraising Guidance is the most important compliance document for Canadian fundraisers

I am still surprised at the number of Canadian fundraisers that I meet who have not read the CRA's Fundraising Guidance or have read it but don't remember any of the details!   Here is the Fundraising Guidance on the CRA site and here is a PDF version of the CRA Fundraising Guidance as of May 2018.   If your Canadian registered charity is fundraising then you should be aware of this guidance.   CRA is auditing charities that are not complying with the requirements and in some cases revoking them.  I have put up a number of letters from CRA on our website that CRA wrote to charities as part of the revocation process.  These letters show the actual implementation of the fundraising guidance.

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May 09, 2018

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. Topics are subject to change. 

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April 28, 2018

Various programs on charity law in Fort McMurray with the Canadian Red Cross on May 29, 2018

I will be delivering three presentations in Fort McMurray on Tuesday May 29, 2018 around non-profits and charity compliance issues as well as setting up social enterprises, non-profits and charities.  If you are in the area you might find them helpful.

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April 24, 2018

CRA’s Guidance on advancement of religion as of May 2017

We recently wrote about obtaining the CRA guidance on advancement of religion at CRA’s Draft Guidance Advancement of religion and charitable registration is released through ATIP.  That article included a July 2016 version of the CRA guidance on religion which had not been released by CRA except through the ATIP request.  Apparently CRA has been using that guidance or similar guidance since 2013.  We recently obtained another copy of the draft guidance advancement of religion and charitable registration dated May 2017.  The text is identical to the 2016 version so we know that at least until May 2017 this document was the internal guidance of CRA on advancement of religion and charity registration.

April 24, 2018

Common Paragraphs from CRA in the Notification of Registration On Operating a Registered Charity

Here is our article Common Paragraphs from CRA in the Notification of Registration Regarding Operating a Registered Charity.  It provides many of the common warnings or suggestions from CRA that are included in Notifications of Registration from the Charities Directorate.   

April 24, 2018

CRA letter on Ineligible Individual and Impact on Charity Application

Here is our article CRA letter on Ineligible Individual and Impact on Charity Application which provides a copy of a standard letter when CRA determines that an ineligible individual may be involved with a charity application.   

March 28, 2018

CRA releases information on Universities Outside Canada - good news for foreign universities

Here is our article CRA releases information on Universities Outside Canada - good news for foreign universities.  This will be of interest to universities outside of Canada whether they are prescribed foreign universities or not.   

March 27, 2018

Upcoming Blumbergs’ Events for 2018 - Bootcamp, T3010 and Receipting

Understanding legal compliance for registered charities is not easy but Blumbergs is offering exciting new upcoming events in 2018 that will help.   

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March 26, 2018

CRA insert reminding Canadian registered charities about electronic filing and CHAMP.

CRA has been sending this insert in various mailings reminding Canadian registered charities that the new move to electronic filing of charity applications and the optional ability to file T3010s online is starting in November 2018.  Charities should start to prepare to use the new facility by setting up a MyBA account if they don't have one already.   Charities can already use the MyBA for limited purposes such as changing their address online.   

March 11, 2018

CHAMP - CRA backtracks on giving internal divisions separate BN numbers

CRA has noted on the Charities IT Modernization Project (CHAMP) page that internal divisions will be able to access the CRA online system without obtaining a new BN number.  In September of 2017 we blogged about developments relating to "head bodies" and "internal divisions".  Previously they had said that they will be issuing new distinct BN numbers to each internal division but now they will not.

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March 07, 2018

Barry Bussey “Trudeau Liberals clearly don’t understand religious charities and their rights”

Barry Bussey published an op ed in The Province on the Canada Summer Jobs program and the reluctance of the CRA Minister to release it guidance on religion which has essentially been complete for a number of years. 

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February 24, 2018

T2050 - Application to Register a Charity Under the Income Tax Act (CRA)

The CRA has updated their T2050 - Application to Register a Charity Under the Income Tax Act (CRA).  The changes appear to reflect the updated URLs for the CRA documents at the Canada.ca website. As of November 2018 all CRA charity applications will need to be done online using the CRA CHAMP system.  

February 24, 2018

RC191 - Qualified Donee Becoming a Prescribed University Outside Canada (CRA) updated

CRA has recently updated their guidance RC191 - Qualified Donee Becoming a Prescribed University Outside Canada (CRA).  The changes are minor.  They have updated the Charities and Giving links to the new Canada.ca website.  For a more in-depth discussion of a foreign university applying to be a Canadian foreign prescribed university our article "Foreign Universities Applying for Prescribed University Status in Canada 2018" may be of assistance.

February 19, 2018

Foreign Universities Applying for Prescribed University Status in Canada 2018

Here is our updated article on Foreign Universities Applying for Prescribed University Status in Canada 2018.  If your university or alma mater is outside of Canada then this article can be vital in terms of understanding how to more easily and tax effectively fundraise from Canada.  

February 15, 2018

Finally the shoe has dropped on registered charities and they must update their tax receipts

Last year CRA moved their website from www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/ to the super cool https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/charities-giving/charities.html   Ok it was not CRA moving their website but they were dragged kicking and screaming to the Government of Canada website.  Giant waste of time and necessitating many non-profit and charitable organizations having to update links etc. Well I was wondering when CRA was going to tell registered charities that they should update their official donation receipts to reflect the new address.  All official donation receipts are supposed to have certain mandatory information including the "Name and website of the Canada Revenue Agency".  Well then I saw it. 

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January 27, 2018

Our directory of top resources for Canadian registered charities

Over the last 10 or more years, we have published over 2500 blog posts.  Except for a few avid readers, that might be a little overwhelming so we have started to create a directory of some of the top resources for Canadian charities.  This will be particularly helpful for those who are new to registered charity compliance issues or to the charity sector.

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January 25, 2018

Are you prepared for CHAMP?  It is happening in November 2018 whether your are ready or not

The CRA has been working for years on the Charities IT Modernization Project or CHAMP.  CHAMP is going to affect charity applications in that they will need to be filed electronically, as of November 2018.  CHAMP will also allow charities to file their T3010 online, although charities can continue to file their T3010 manually if they so choose.   

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January 22, 2018

Common Paragraphs for an Administrative Fairness Letter from the Charities Directorate of CRA

Here is our note "Common Paragraphs for an Administrative Fairness Letter from the Charities Directorate of CRA". It contains explanations of common concerns that CRA may find during an audit that, unless appropriately addressed, may result in various penalties, sanctions or even revocation.

January 09, 2018

Top 68 CRA Reasons for Denying your Canadian Registered Charity Application

In this article "Top 68 CRA Reasons for Denying your Canadian Registered Charity Application" we have obtained from CRA a list of some of the most common and not so common reasons for CRA to be concerned with a charity application.   

January 03, 2018

CRA letter on when school boards in Canada are public bodies that perform a function of government

School boards can be registered charities.  But school boards can also fit into another category of qualified donee that provides the ability to issue receipts with far less compliance obligations.  CRA recently released a letter discussing whether school boards are public bodies that perform a function of government.

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December 19, 2017

CRA Responds to Questions At Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute On CHAMP

The CRA has responded to some questions that were posed at our recent Charity Law Institute session.  The presentation by Tania Lewis and Jennifer Fraser of the Charities Directorate was on the new CHAMP or Charity Modernization Program of CRA which will result in new charity applications being filed electronically and the possibility for registered charities to file their T3010 Registered Charity Information Returns online.  

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November 10, 2017

CRA Launches Charities Education Program

The CRA has recently announced the launch of a new program called the Charities Education Program.  The program is going to have CRA auditors visit charities but not in the normal audit capacity.   The CRA anticipates that about 500 of these visits will take place per year.  We will see how the program works out but there are going to be some reservations about this new initiative.   If this is an educational program are CRA auditors the best people to do the program? Will charities be confused by this program and the difference between this program and the regular audit program?  Could the resources being used for this program rather be used for responding to written correspondence and charity applications sooner, because they are both taking about a year right now?  Time will tell how the program works out.    

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October 28, 2017

Prescribed foreign universities can have their qualified donee status be revoked by the CRA

Canada has an unusually generous system in which foreign universities that have a couple of Canadian students studying there can obtain the equivalent of Canadian registered charity status with almost none of the obligations. Here is an article describing that process.  However, CRA can remove charities from the list if they don't continue to meet the requirements (for example to have the 2 students) or they don't respond to CRA requests every 5-10 years for confirmation of information. 

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October 24, 2017

CRA’s Draft Guidance Advancement of religion and charitable registration is released through ATIP

There are approximately 32,000 registered charities in Canada that are religious charities. They account for approximately 40% of all the registered charities in Canada.  It is important that Canadian registered charities are aware of CRA‘s views on what is religion and when are activities of religious charities that are ostensibly religious not in fact “advancing religion”.  Or when are such activities providing undue private benefit.  We just obtained a copy of CRA's draft Guidance Advancement of religion and charitable registration and it is important that charities and others interested in this topic are aware of the guidance.

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October 01, 2017

Letter from CRA rulings to the Charities Directorate on aboriginal bands

In July 2016 the Income Tax Rulings Directorate of CRA wrote to the Charities Directorate clarifying the procedure for reviewing whether aboriginal bands should be viewed as qualified donees.  Very importantly the CRA ITR Directorate concluded "it is our view that all bands created under the Indian Act meet the criteria to be considered municipal or public bodies performing a function of government in Canada for the purpose of paragraph 149(1)(c) of the Act and are therefore exempt from income tax." 

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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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