Here is a copy of a presentation given by Bryan McLean, Director of the Policy, Planning and Legislation Division, of the Charities Directorate entitled Policy Priorities for the Charities Directorate, Canada Revenue Agency.  The presentation was delivered at the International Committee on Fundraising Organizations Annual General Meeting, on May 14, 2010 in Kitchener.

Here are some the highlights:

In 2007 (the most recent year complete statistics are available):
•Charities reported issuing $13.9 billion in tax receipts.
•Donors claimed $9.3 billion on their tax returns.
•The federal and provincial governments reported $3.9 billion in foregone revenue due to these tax credits (average tax credit rate of about 40%).

What are the functions of the Charities Directorate?

The Charities Directorate contains six divisions, each with its own area of responsibility:
•Assessment, Determinations, and Monitoring: reviews applications for registration.
•Client Interface and Service:provides information, guidance and advice on maintaining registered status.
•Compliance: ensures that registered organizations comply with registration requirements.
•Corporate and Information Programs:engages with the sector and other sections of the government.
•Policy, Planning, and Legislation: develops policy and educates the charitable sector and donors.
•Review and Analysis: supports the CRA’s role in combating the financing of terrorism.

How is guidance developed?
• The Policy, Planning and Legislation Division (PPLD) within the Charities Directorate is responsible for developing new guidance and updating older documents.
• We monitor the nature of enquiries coming in from registered charities and other external stakeholders and also discuss with our own staff.
• A cross-Directorate Policy Development Committee then identifies priorities for guidance.
• These priorities are presented to a management committee for approval.
• PPLD then proceeds with drafting the guidance, and holding internal and external consultations.

What are the Charities Directorate’s priorities for future guidance?

The Charities Directorate’s is currently developing new guidance on the following topics:
•The advancement of religion
•Animal welfare
•Protection of the environment
•Complementary and alternative medicine