What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA

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We recently wrote about obtaining the CRA guidance on advancement of religion at CRA’s Draft Guidance Advancement of religion and charitable registration is released through ATIP.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  We recently obtained another copy of the draft guidance advancement of religion and charitable registration dated May 2017.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.   

April 20, 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 19, 2018

Markou v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 66 (CanLII)

The case of Markou v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 66 (CanLII) in the Tax Court of Canada dealt with a leveraged donation program called “Donation Program for Medical Science and Technology”- what CRA used to refer to as an "abusive charity gifting donation scheme".  The TCC determined that there was no donative intent and no gift.

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April 14, 2018

CRA adds interesting feature to website A-Z index of topics

The Charities Directorate of the CRA appears to be making further changes to their website.   It moved in 2017 to the main Canada.ca Federal government website. Now I noticed their A-Z index of topics is now searchable.  I think this new functionality is very helpful. I had commented on how helpful this list is in the past and having it be searchable is even more helpful.  Hopefully, CRA will continue working on the searchable list to make it more relevant and easier for people to find information.

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April 11, 2018

Top Canadian Charity Law Issues by Mark Blumberg - For Charity Village - March 2018

Here is an article I recently wrote entitled Top Canadian Charity Law Issues for Charity Village.  It highlights some of the top compliance issues that a Canadian charity should be concerned with.   

April 08, 2018

Searching the CRA’s new website at Canada.ca made easy

There are over 2.5m pages on the Government of Canada's website and only a few thousand deal with registered charities.   Here are some tips on finding information on registered charities.  However, keep in mind that information and legal advice are two very different matters - if the issue is important and involves potentially large consequences consider obtaining professional legal advice from a lawyer who is very knowledgeable about non-profits and charities and consequently probably spends most of their time practicing in the narrow confines of charity and non-profit law.  

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April 04, 2018

List of Registered Charities that filed 2010 T3010 and answered yes for political activities

April 04, 2018

Presentation in Winnipeg on foreign activities by Canadian charities with MCIC

I am looking forward to delivering a presentation next week in Winnipeg on Canadian Charities Conducting Foreign Activities: Compliance Requirements.  I will discuss the rules for foreign activities but also some recent developments involving CRA.   

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April 04, 2018

Redacted lists of registered charities audited by CRA under the political activities program

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system Redacted lists of registered charities audited by CRA under the political activities program

March 30, 2018

Ahlul-Bayt Centre, Ottawa v. Canada (National Revenue) - irreparable harm and revocation

There is another Federal Court of Appeal case dealing with the test for having the courts delay the publication of a notice of intention to revoke by CRA.  It is called Ahlul-Bayt Centre, Ottawa v. Canada (National Revenue).  In September 2017 the CRA advised the  Ahlul-Bayt Centre in Ottawa of its intention to revoke their charity status.  CRA wanted the revocation to take place within 30 days.   The Centre wanted to stop the publication of the notice of intention to revoke until much later citing the irreparable harm that would be caused by loss of charitable status.  The Court decided "Taken as a whole, the evidence is in our view insufficient to establish irreparable harm."  The Court dismissed the application.  This case shows that it is difficult to show "irreparable harm" to delay revocation. 

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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

CRA internal PowerPoint to Audit Team conducting political activity audits

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system CRA internal PowerPoint to Audit Team conducting political activity audits.  

March 27, 2018

CRA Audit Plans and procedures for political activity audits

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system CRA Audit Plans and procedures for political activity audits

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 3 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 24, 2018

Exciting functionality being added to CharityData.ca

We are adding some exciting new functionality with CharityData.ca   First, it is easy to see what gifts a Canadian registered charity gives to another Canadian registered charity on the CRA website.  But what if you want to know which charities gave funds to a particular charity?  Now you can do this on CharityData.ca by looking under the "Fundraising" tab.   Second, we are going to be updating the data used on the site to include all 2016 data and some 2017 data.  Third, we have added a number of new ways to search or sort all charities on the "Advanced Charity Search Page" Page.  There are now about 30 ways to filter or search.  Here is some more information on Charitydata.ca:

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March 24, 2018

Posting New Content on the CRA’s Charities and Giving webpages

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system Posting New Content on the CRA's Charities and Giving web pages.  If you are wondering how difficult it is for the Charities Directorate to even post the simplest information this chart will help.  The short answer - it is difficult.  While bloggers can put up information in minutes the CRA system can take months, years and even decades to get a document published online.  I am still waiting for CRA to release their guidance on religion, the first consultation draft was done about 9 years ago!     

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March 24, 2018

CRA’s “Compliance Framework for Files with Identified Political Activities”

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system Compliance Framework for Files with Identified Political Activities.  It explains how political activity audit files are identified by CRA, screening criteria used, and different types of audits that may be used depending on the screening finding.  CRA even has a cool infographic on sources and screening - ok it was from 2012 and they have gotten a lot better since then.   

March 24, 2018

What type of charities were audited by CRA under the political activity program

Here is a CRA document we recently received through the ATIP system What type of charities were audited by CRA under the political activity program. It shows as of February 2014 with 31 charities being audited in terms of the 4 heads of charity how CRA divided up the political activity audits.

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March 13, 2018

More ways to sort Canadian registered charity data at www.charitydata.ca

Blumbergs has created the largest Canadian registered charity information portal at www.charitydata.ca with up to 13 years information on every Canadian registered charity. We have just added additional ways to sort data at www.charitydata.ca.  You can search by name, BN, Program, Charity Type, Revenue, Province and City.  

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March 12, 2018

Heavily redacted memorandum to PM Justin Trudeau from PCO on the political activities audits

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 10, 2018

CRA media points on consultation panel report on political activities - May 3, 2017

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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.

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