Canadian Charity Law

August 14, 2019

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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July 28, 2019

Fundamentals of Running a Private or Public Foundation in Canada

Private and Public Foundations are an important part of the Canadian charity sector.  The Blumbergs' Fundamentals of Running a Private or Public Foundation in Canada will focus on compliance issues with an emphasis on those specifically relevant to running a private or public foundation that is a registered charity in Canada.  While some foundations give out a small amount each year – others are giving hundreds of millions.  Large gifts might have been $10-20 million a few years ago but are now $100 million and over. On September 17, 2019, we will be hosting a full-day event on public and private foundations. Register here

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July 28, 2019

Making sense of CRAs new online Canadian charity application system

CRA in June 2019 brought in a new charity application system under their CHAMP modernization program.  Here is our article Making sense of CRAs new online Canadian charity application system which discusses the new system and also provides a paper copy of the questions on the new system. Some people, including professional advisors, have had challenges with the new system and hopefully this article will be of assistance.

We have a directory dealing with applications for charity status.  If you wish to apply for charity status in Canada and need legal assistance you can retain our law firm to assist.  Here is information on how to contact us. We have 9 lawyers who focus on working with non-profits and charities that are based in Canada and abroad.

July 26, 2019

Journalism panel submits report to Federal government about journalism proposals in 2019 Budget

The Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts released a report that they had provided to the Federal government relating to the 2019 federal budget and the proposals on journalism.   Here is a copy of the report.  As well here are minutes of their meetings

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July 24, 2019

Federal Court of Appeal upholds Revocation of Charitable Status

On June 24, 2019, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld CRA's decision to revoke Many Mansions Spiritual Centre, Inc. ("Many Mansions")'s charitable status in Many Mansions Spiritual Centre, Inc. v Canada (National Revenue).

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July 24, 2019

TCC Ruling on Failure to Maintain Adequate Books and Records with Foreign Activity and Suspension

On June 28, 2019, the Tax Court of Canada released its decision Promised Land Ministries v the Queen, in which it upheld CRA's decision to suspend the registered charity Promised Land Ministries ("PLM")'s receipting privileges for one year for failing to maintain adequate books and records over a foreign activity by the Canadian charity.  This case is vital reading for any Canadian charity conducting foreign activities because of its extensive discussion of books and records and foreign activities.

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July 04, 2019

Blumbergs’ Canadian Charity Law Institute 2019

Join us on Monday October 7, 2019 in Toronto for the 8th Annual Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Institute. We will be featuring a number of speakers covering different legal and compliance issues affecting Canadian charities and non-profits.  It will be a full day packed with practical legal and ethical compliance information geared toward charities, professional advisors and those interested in regulatory issues affecting charities and the non-profit sector. Space is limited.

The price is $275 for the day. It includes breakfast, lunch, breaks, coffee and drinks, HST and handouts. There are early bird specials if you sign up early enough including the super early bird which expires July 31.  For more information or to register here is a link to the Blumbergs' Canadian Charity Law Institute 2019.

June 28, 2019

Online Charity Law Courses from Blumbergs - 24/7 compliance education for registered charities

We have created two new online courses for those outside of Toronto who are not able to easily attend our programs.  They might also be helpful to those in Toronto who cannot wait for our next session as they sometimes only occur annually.  Online course are never going to be the same as in-person courses but for many they are far easier to access and more convenient.  You can do an online course at your pace and redo sections if you wish.

The first course is "Should We Establish a Canadian Social Enterprise, Non-Profit or Charity and How to Do It?".   The course is $149 and you can register at https://charity-law.teachable.com/ 

The second course is "Receipting for Canadian Registered Charities".  The course is $225 and you can register at https://charity-law.teachable.com/ 

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June 27, 2019

Account changes for registered charities under CHAMP

Canadian charities now have more options for doing certain transactions online using the CHAMP system.   Charities should look into accessing their CHAMP account. 

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June 27, 2019

Objects of registered charities in Canada are sometimes not charitable

Here is our article on "Objects of registered charities in Canada are sometimes not charitable".  Objects are very important and often Canadian charities don't understand that even though they are a registered charity their objects may not actually be charitable.  

June 20, 2019

Senate releases report today on the non-profit and charitable sector

The Senate has had a standing committee that has been looking at the voluntary sector in Canada. They released their report today.  The report is entitled Catalyst for Change: A Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector.  It is over 189 pages long and has 42 recommendations.  

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June 15, 2019

CRA’s Technical Issues Working Group

I have just completed 4 years on the CRA's Technical Issues Working Group.  Most people don't even know that it exists.  The Technical Issues Working Group is fondly known as TIWG and pronounced like 'twig'.  It is an opportunity twice a year for CRA, Finance, certain charities and professional advisors to discuss technical and other issues affecting the sector.    

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June 09, 2019

Comparison of the CRA’s Charities Listing and Blumbergs’ CharityData.ca

Here is our article "Comparison of the CRA’s Charities Listing and Blumbergs’ CharityData.ca" which looks at the two main public and free sources of data on registered charities in Canada.

June 03, 2019

No updates with the new Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations (ONCA) at the moment

There are a large number of Ontario non-profit corporations under the Ontario Corporations Act (“OCA”).  As you may know, the Ontario government has stated that it is targeting to replace the OCA with the new Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations (ONCA) at the beginning of 2020.  ONCA has been delayed a number of times and although the Ontario Ministry announced it is targeting 2020, it is not certain that ONCA will necessarily be brought in by that date.   On May 29, 2019 we asked the Ontario Government if there was any update or anything new with respect to ONCA and we heard on May 31, 2019  "​We have no additional updates to share with you at this time about the Not for Profit Corporations Act." 
 

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May 27, 2019

CRA Q&A on new journalism qualified donee category

Here is a Q&A from CRA about the new journalism qualified donee category.  

May 24, 2019

Dramatic changes to the CRA Charities Listing

CRA has recently updated its Charities Listing and the most notable change is the fact that they have reduced the amount of information available on each Canadian registered charity. The Charities Listing used to have up to 15 years of data for each charity, but now that has been reduced to only the last 5 years of data for each charity. There are concerns that this change reduces transparency and accountability within the charitable sector. While the information is still technically publicly available, now anyone who would like to review older data must first submit a request form to CRA and wait a few weeks instead of that information being instantly available.

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May 08, 2019

CRA’s Charities IT Modernization Project (“CHAMP”) set to roll-out in June

CRA is set to introduce its online system for organizations applying for charitable status. Once this system is available on June 1, 2019, paper applications will no longer be accepted and organizations will only be able to apply for charitable status online using CHAMP.  We suggest that if you are currently working on a charity application it may be best to complete it and file the application with CRA before May 31 to avoid having to re-input all the information on the T2050 form into the online system and potentially avoid any initial delays or issues associated with the new system.

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April 30, 2019

Fundamentals of Receipting by Canadian Charities

Properly issuing official donation receipts has been challenging for many registered charities.  According to the CRA, 89% of registered charities that are audited by CRA are not correctly issuing official donation receipts.  Issuing incorrect receipts can result in revocation or penalties. It is easier to do it right than fix problems later! We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a 3-hour event Fundamentals of Receipting by Canadian Charities on Monday, June 10, 2019 at 8:30 am. Click here for more information and to register for this event.

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April 30, 2019

Fundamentals of the T3010 and Transparency for Canadian Charities

Every year Canadian registered charities must file the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return with the Charities Directorate of CRA. In June 2019 Canadian registered charities will be able to file the T3010 online which will make the process easier and quicker. If charities do not file the form, they can be revoked by CRA for non-filing. If the T3010 is not filed accurately it can be cause for suspension of a charity's receipting privileges. On June 10, 2019 at 1pm, we will be hosting the Fundamentals of the T3010 and Transparency for Canadian charities, a 3-hour workshop on legal and practical issues relating to the T3010 filing and transparency for charities.  Register here

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April 29, 2019

Top Canadian Charity Law Issues by Mark Blumberg

Here is our list of the Top Canadian Charity Law Issues by Mark Blumberg. Hopefully it provides a good overview of the most common compliance issues for Canadian registered charities with an emphasis on concerns from the Charities Directorate of CRA.

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April 23, 2019

CRA’s Charities Education Program Letter

In December 2017, CRA introduced a new program, the Charities Education Program ("CEP") which is aimed at helping charities comply with the requirements for Canadian registered charities. CRA said it aims to visit 500 charities a year with this program. The primary targets for these visits are newer charities, as CRA is trying to ensure that the charity is starting off right and that the charity does in fact have adequate books and records. 

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April 23, 2019

Canadian Charity Legal Checklist by Mark Blumberg - April 2019

Here is our new Canadian Charity Legal Checklist.  For those who are interested in reviewing legal compliance for their registered charity, they may find the checklist helpful.  

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April 22, 2019

CFA Society of Toronto 2019 Wealth Conference

I will be speaking at the CFA Society of Toronto 2019 Wealth Conference on May 1, 2019 dealing with the topic ​"Professional Advisors and Philanthropy: Helping clients and yourself navigate philanthropy".  You can register for the program here

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March 28, 2019

CRA letter on amalgmation of registered charity and non-profit

Here is a redacted Advanced Income Tax Ruling Request response from CRA, dealing with the amalgamation of a registered charity and a non-profit. Registered charities and non-profits can amalgamate and as with all mergers or amalgamations there are a number of complexities and one should obtain legal advice.  

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March 28, 2019

CRA tweaks to their guidance on registered charities carrying out activities outside of Canada

The CRA's Guidance Canadian registered charities carrying out activities outside Canada indicates it was revised on January 29, 2019.   As some of you know CRA has been looking at revising their foreign activity guidance however the changes made in January 2019 are just minor updates to reflect certain recent changes.  CRA has been consulting on the foreign activity guidance and there are possibly more substantive updates coming.  We look forward to having Anne MacDougall of the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency joining us to discuss these proposed revisions at the Blumbergs’ International Philanthropy Conference

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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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