CRA’s document “Gifts and Income Tax” (P113(E) Rev. 09) is helpful for Canadian charities and taxpayers understanding what is a “gift” that can be receipted.  The document is located at Here is an excerpt dealing with The Cultural Property Export and Import Act and donations of cultural property of “outstanding significance and national importance” to certain registered charities.

“The Cultural Property Export and Import Act

The Income Tax Act and the Cultural Property Export and Import Act (CPEIA) provide tax incentives to individuals who want to sell or donate significant movable cultural property to Canadian heritage institutions or public authorities.

The Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board (CCPERB) is responsible under the CPEIA for certifying property as cultural property and therefore of “outstanding significance and national importance”.
It is also responsible for determining the fair market value of such property for income tax purposes.

When you donate cultural property to a designated Canadian institution or public authority and the CCPERB certifies it, you do not realize a capital gain. You use the eligible amount of the gift to calculate the non-refundable tax credit. The amount you can claim as a non-refundable tax credit is limited to the total amount of tax still payable after claiming your credits for any other charitable gifts.

After the CCPERB certifies your donation of cultural property, it will provide you with Form T871, Cultural Property Income Tax Certificate. However, they must first receive written confirmation from the institution or public authority that the legal transfer of ownership of the donation was made, and that the gift is irrevocable.

Certification of cultural property
Cultural property may be anything from paintings and sculptures to books and manuscripts to ethnographic and decorative art material. This property does not have to be of Canadian origin.
If you want your gift to be certified under the CPEIA, you need to contact the CCPERB. For the contact information for the Review Board Secretariat, see “Designated institutions and public authorities”.

The CCPERB may determine that an object is of “outstanding significance and national importance” because of its:
• close association with Canadian history or national life;
• aesthetic qualities; or
• value in the study of the arts or sciences.
Certification by the CCPERB is only necessary if you want us to treat your donation as a gift of cultural property. It is not necessary if you want us to treat your donation as a gift to a registered charity or other qualified donee.

Designated institutions and public authorities

To be eligible to have cultural property certified, an institution or public authority has to be designated by the Minister of Canadian Heritage before the legal transfer of ownership of the property takes place.
Designation ensures that institutions receiving cultural property have the appropriate measures in place to collect, preserve, and make cultural property accessible to the public for research or display purposes.
“Category A” designation status is granted indefinitely to institutions and public authorities that are well established and meet all of the criteria for designation.
“Category B” status is granted exclusively in relation to the proposed acquisition of a specific object or collection. The concerned institution must meet most of the criteria for designation, and prove its ability to effectively preserve the specific property for which certification by the CCPERB is desired.

If you have any questions about designation or the certification of cultural property, or if you would like to get the CCPERB’s publication called Applications for Certification of Cultural Property for Income Tax Purposes – Information and Procedures, contact the Review Board Secretariat in one of the following ways:
Telephone 819-997-7761
Toll free 1-866-999-2494
Fax 819-997-7757 “