The Canadian charity and non-profit sector are an important part of the Canadian economy and have a huge impact on the lives of Canadians. With the registered charity sector (approximately 86,000 organizations) the public has up-to-date and detailed information. Unfortunately, with the 80-100,000 non-profits that are not registered charities (we don't even know how many there are) we have almost no information on the size and scope of that sector and there is little transparency on individual non-profits that are not registered charities.
The Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector has started having meetings and inviting witnesses. We covered the details of the mandate at Senate appoints Special Committee on the Charitable Sector to look at laws and policies and impact Here are the dates of the recent meetings (with either a link to the transcript or video webcast).
The Department of Finance has released the 2018 Report on Federal Tax Expenditures. The document is over 300 pages and discusses the financial costs of certain Canadian tax measures including donation tax incentives. These costs are referred to as "tax expenditures". On page 287 there is an extensive discussion of the tax assistance for publicly listed securities or marketable securities under the heading "Evaluation of the Non-Taxation of Capital Gains on Donations of Publicly Listed Securities". Anyone interested in the topic of donating appreciable marketable security to charities will find the discussion interesting.
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.
Understanding legal compliance for registered charities is not easy but Blumbergs is offering exciting new upcoming events in 2018 that will help.
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:
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.
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.
Statistics Canada has reported that "Total donations reported by Canadian tax filers fell to $8.9 billion in 2016, down 2.7% from 2015." The Statscan numbers only claims by individuals tax filers and not what was actually donated to charity by individuals, corporations, etc. which in 2016 was $16.5 Billion.
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.
In a presentation to E&Y Gary Huenemoeder of the Charities Directorate provided certain updated audit statistics for 2016-2017 which shows the outcomes of the CRA's completed audits.
CRA has just released the 2018 T3010 Registered Charity Information Return. The T3010 is a form that Canadian registered charities need to file each year within six months of their fiscal year-end. Failure to file the return can quickly result in revocation.
The US House and Senate are looking at major changes to the tax code that could have a significant impact on US donors and whether they receive any tax incentives for their donations. Now, 1 in 3 US donors may get a tax incentive when they donate to charity; with the proposed changes, only 1 in 20 US donors will receive a tax incentive for their donations. A number of US charity umbrella groups have been lobbying hard to prevent certain changes. We will know shortly whether the charity sector will be blindsided or if last minute amendments will occur. There are lots of lessons here for Canada.
CRA has provided information through ATIP on third-party civil penalties from 2009 to 2016. The number of completed third-party penalty audits where it was determined that the penalty would be applied is 67. The amount of the penalties was about $164 million. Here is the disclosure.
Mark Blumberg will be delivering two upcoming Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (CPA Ontario) charity programs: Charity Fundraising and Receipting Rules - A Primer for Accountants and T3010 and Transparency in the Charitable Sector.
CRA has recently announced that starting in late 2018, registered charities will be able to file their annual Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return online through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account (MyBA). Currently the T3010 form must be printed and then mailed into CRA, so we hope that the online filing option will make the annual filing process easier for Canadian registered charities.
In this note Which Canadian charities had the highest expenditures in 2015? we list Canadian registered charities that spent over $10 million and how much they spent as reported for the 2015 fiscal year.The total expenditures of all the 84,442 registered charities were about $240,088,726,650.00.
The Canadian Charity Law Association (CCLA) is pleased to present: Charities, Regulation and Donors - some international perspectives on June 22, 2017 at 8:30AM in Toronto. The 1/2 day program will cover 4 thought provoking topics (see bios below) and have two excellent international guests. The room can only hold 33 people so if you are interested book quickly.
In this article Some of the Canadian charities that spend the most on political activities? I have not only listed some of the Canadian charities that spent the most on political activities but also showed readers how they can find and sort the information themselves. There is more to charities than just political activities and you can do your own searches depending on what information you need.
In this note Which Canadian charities had the biggest revenue in 2015? we cover the charities that received over $10 million in their 2015 fiscal year. The total revenue of the charity sector in 2015 was over $251 billion.
In this note Which Canadian charities had the largest assets in 2015? it identifies Canadian charities that had assets of over $10 million as identified for the 2015 fiscal year. The total assets identified are $397,833,310,726.00. This does not account for liabilities.
There are over 294,000 records of Canadian charities gifting to qualified donees in total (both within and outside of Canada). We reviewed the list and have compiled a list of gifts over $1.3 million to foreign qualified donees only for 2015. Here is the "Largest Gifts from Canadian Charities to Foreign Qualified Donees for 2015".
Here is a article "Largest Gifts from Canadian Charities to other Qualified Donees for 2015" with a list of all gifts over $1,000,000 from the 2015 T3010 Registered Charity Information Returns from one registered charity to another qualified donee.
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
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.