What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA

November 01, 2009

What role do the provinces play in regulation of charities in Canada?

Here is a good page of links on the CRA website entitled “What role do provincial and territorial governments play in the regulation of charities?”  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/dnrs/rgltn/menu-eng.html
Also see “Constitutional Jurisdiction Over Charities” at http://www.carters.ca/pub/book/2008/halsbury08.pdf

August 01, 2009

CRA releases fillable T2050 Application to Register a Charity Under the Income Tax Act

The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency just released a fillable T2050 Application for charitable status which will make it easier for organizations to complete the form and presumably make it more legible.  You can obtain a copy of the form at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t2050/README.html Although the form may look simple, and is now easier to fill in, it is actually a form covering many different areas of charitable law and it is often a good idea to get some legal advice and assistance with incorporation and applying for charitable status.

June 01, 2009

CRA Charity Checklist on Terrorism

Here is a “Checklist for Charities on Avoiding Terrorist Abuse” put out by the Charity Directorate of Canada Revenue Agency.  It is a concise and helpful tool for charities to use to ensure that their resources are not misused by those who support or are involved with terrorism.  Many charities tell me that terrorism is not an issue for them - in fact the precautions suggested in this checklist are just as important for charities to understand and impliment to avoid money laundering, tax evasion, and general missappropriation of resources for non-charitable purposes.  Terrorism is local as well as international.  (for example the FLQ and the Oklahoma City bombing).  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/chcklsts/vtb-eng.html

May 28, 2009

CRA Releases Registered Charity Newsletter 32 - discusses new applications, T3010B, webinars,

Here is the latest CRA Registered Charity Newsletter # 32.  It includes an extensive discussion on applications for charity status and how to improve your application and avoid unnecessary delays.  It sets out the procedures that CRA will follow upon receiving a charity application.

April 28, 2009

Draft Consultation on Proposed Guidance on Advancement of Religion as a Charitable Purpose

Here is a copy of a draft paper delivered by Terry de March, Director General of the Charities Directorate, at a conference in Australia.  At some point in the future CRA may have a consultation on this topic and the document may or may not be similar to this draft.  Here is the Draft Consulation on Proposed Guidance on Advancement of Religion as a Charitable Purpose from the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency

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February 01, 2009

Political Activities and Canadian Charities -Some CRA Policies and letters on political activities

Most of CRA’s view on political activities by Canadian charities can be found in Policy Statement CPS-022 Political Activities. (see Political Activities (CPS - 022) located at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cps/cps-022-eng.html   I highly recommend that any charity considering conducting any activity that could be construed as political, review in detail the CPS-022 Policy Statement on Political Activities.

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December 16, 2008

New CRA Application for Registered Charity Status (T2050) and Guide (T4063)  finally arrived

July 02, 2008

Redeemer Foundation v. M.N.R. (F.C.A.)- Federal Court agrees with CRA on audit powers with charities

This case dealt with whether the Charities Directorate of CRA requires judicial authorization to request certain information from a registered charity and CRA won the appeal.  The CRA note headnote/summary is below.

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January 31, 2008

CRA’s 10 reasons why an application for Canadian charitable status will not be successful

The CRA recently posted their top ten list of why applications for charitable status will not be successful.  It was placed in a Consultation document entitled “Charitable Work and Ethnocultural Groups - Information on registering as a charity “.  As an aside the last time I saw a study on the difference between applications for charitable status that were accepted by CRA and those that were rejected the most important factor correlating with acceptance was use of a lawyer.  Although one does not need to use a lawyer, the process is anything but straightforward.  If one is going to use a lawyer it is important to use a lawyer who is knowledgeable about charity law and especially important if you plan on conducting activities outside of Canada that the lawyer be familiar with CRA requirements for Canadian charities operating abroad.  Just one little example they cite for denying an application “The application does not include any copy of an agreement with representatives who are supposed to help the organization to carry out its activities outside Canada.”  CRA expects when one files an application that references foreign activities to be carried out under a structured arrangement (agency, joint venture, cooperative partnership, contractor) that in fact the agreement be attached.  This comes as a surprise to some including experienced practitioners.  Also they don’t mean some nice looking agreement - they mean an agreement that complies with ALL the requirements in RC4106.  Some may see this as harsh - however, if an organization takes shortcuts and does not have the resources and advisors to put in an appropriate application for charitable status it is not difficult to imagine that some of those same people may take shortcuts later when the charity is operating.

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November 29, 2007

CRA Issues Notice of Suspension to International Charity Association Network

November 27, 2007

Resources and Links for Canadian Charities conducting Foreign Activities

Here are some handy resources and links for Canadian Charities conducting activities outside of Canada. 

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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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