Should a registered charity issue an official donation receipt for gifts from a qualified donee

February 23, 2016 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: Receipting by Canadian Registered Charities, Planned Giving and Canadian Charities

We get this question often.   If a registered charity receives funds from a qualified donee then it should not issue an official donation receipt.  For example a private foundation sends your registered charity a cheque for $10,000.00.   Do you issue them an official donation receipt?  The answer is no.

Here is the CRA view:

Gifts from other registered charities A registered charity should not issue official donation receipts for gifts (cash or gifts-in-kind) it receives from other registered charities nor should other registered charities insist on receiving official donation receipts. Official donation receipts that bear a charity's registration number and other information are required for tax deduction or credit purposes only; registered charities do not pay income tax and, therefore, do not need a donation receipt. A charity can acknowledge gifts received from other registered charities by way of a letter or ordinary receipt – one that does not state that it is an official receipt for income tax purposes. The charity should still provide its registration number to donor charities for their reporting requirements. 

Here is a link to the CRA publication Gifts from other registered charities.  

Much of the time we are being asked questions by registered charities the staff or volunteers know the answer to the question.   However, they want us to be the one who says "no" instead of themselves.  This is for many charities a reality of dealing with important stakeholders and maintaining cordial relations when some difficult issues surface.  If you need our assistance you may be able to retain our law firm.         

Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?


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.
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