Topics: What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA, Canadian Charity Law, Applying for Registered Charity Status, Political Activities and Canadian charities, Canadian Charity Statistics, CharityData.ca, Transparency
On Monday November 19, 2018 I presented to the Special Senate Committee on the Charity Sector in Ottawa. My presentation dealt with a number of areas especially transparency of non-profits and registered charities, good charity regulation, and political activities by charities.
Here is the full Video Webcast and my testimony begins at 19:39:16.
Also here are a couple of schedules that I provided with my verbal comments:
To understand what is a good or appropriate charity regulator I have tried to distill about 17 factors:
List of Recommendations from Mark Blumberg
• Recommendation 1: That the government amend Section 241 of the Income Tax Act in order to allow the CRA to disclose serious non-compliance with legal requirements by a registered charity, Registered Canadian Amateur Athletic Associations or certain other qualified donees.
• Recommendation 2: That the government amend Section 241 of the Income Tax Act in order to allow the CRA to disclose to the public information contained on the T1044 Non-Profit Organization (NPO) Information Return.
• Recommendation 3: That the government increase the disbursement quota payout from 3.5% to 5% or 6%.
• Recommendation 4: That the government ensure that each donor advised fund is required to disburse a certain percentage per year per fund.
• Recommendation 5: That the government roll out additional educational programs to assist Canadian charities and non-profits understand their compliance obligations.
• Recommendation 6: That the government require charities to demonstrate annually in their reporting that they actually have a “public benefit”, rather than this being assumed
• Recommendation 7: That the government consider the pros and cons of implementing a system where the ability to issue tax receipts is not based on being a “registered charity” but rather a narrower category of deductible gift recipients.
• Recommendation 8: That the government establish a unit within the RCMP, or other police force, tasked with the responsibility of reviewing complicated abusive charity schemes that provide inappropriate official donation receipts.
• Recommendation 9: That the government change its October 25, 2018 proposal to allow non-partisan political activities connected to the purpose of the charity but it must be subordinate (less than 50%) to the charity’s charitable activities.
• Recommendation 10: CRA should be given extra resources to ensure that the objects and latest financial statements of all Canadian charities are easily accessible on the CRA website.
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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.