Transparency

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 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 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

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 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 25, 2018

Corporations Canada has made a giant leap forward in increasing transparency of Federal corporations

As you probably know if you are interested in a Federal corporation (non-profit or otherwise) you can easily search the Corporations Canada website.  This gives you lots of information on Federal non-profit corporations including the name, Corporation Number, Status, which corporate legislation governs, their registered office address, names and addresses of directors, the minimum and maximum number of directors, the last filing date of a corporation, whether filings are overdue, the history of the corporate names, as well as what corporate documents have been filed like Articles, By-laws, Financial Statements etc.   You could always request copies of documents and Corporations Canada was quite efficient in returning them within a day or two.   However, now Corporations Canada has made it even easier for you by making many of the listed documents available instantly. 

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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

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

March 10, 2018

Recent CRA presentation on political activities by Canadian registered charities

Here is a recent CRA presentation on political activities by Canadian registered charities that has some good examples of allowable and prohibited political activities.  It was obtained through ATIP.  Some have complained that the examples in CRA's political activities guidance are dated. This presentation provides more up-to-date and relevant examples. 

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March 03, 2018

Statistics Canada says total Canadian donations down in 2016

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.

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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 07, 2018

CRA has just released it’s 2018 T3010 annual return form for Canadian registered charities

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.

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December 20, 2017

Top Canadian charity law compliance issues By Mark Blumberg

Here is an article on Top Canadian charity law compliance 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.

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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December 16, 2017

Canadian Charity Foreign Activity Legal Checklist - Working with Foreign Charities or Intermediaries

Here is a new checklist from Blumbergs that will assist Canadian registered charities either interested or currently conducting foreign activities.  It is called Canadian Charity Foreign Activity Legal Checklist - Working with Foreign Charities or Intermediaries 2017.

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November 30, 2017

US changes to tax code could mean big problems for US charities

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.

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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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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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