Topics: What's New from the Charities Directorate of CRA, Canadian Charity Law, Political Activities and Canadian charities, Canadian Charity Statistics, Transparency
The CRA recently posted on their T3010 page that "In December 2018, the rules governing the political activities of registered charities changed as a result of new legislation that permits charities to carry on unlimited public policy dialogue and development activities in furtherance of a stated charitable purpose. Under the new rules, the reporting requirements related to a charity’s spending on political activities are no longer relevant. The Canada Revenue Agency is revising Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return, and will publish instructions on its webpages soon."
We will wait to see what CRA suggests. Will only affect less than 1% of charities who had previously said they do any political activities. Perhaps it will remove about a page and a quarter of questions.
Maybe CRA while you are at it you might want to add a few more questions to increase transparency in the charitable sector. Here are some ideas and I would welcome other ideas from those who care about the charity sector. Also perhaps ask some optional questions that charities can fill in if they wish - like how much volunteers does the charity have, how much time do volunteers contribute to the organization and what is the estimated value of the volunteer contribution. 3 questions that no charity has to answer - but for those who choose to answer it, it will provide the public with a far better idea of the impact of the charity than just having lots of financial numbers which do a better job of describing some large charities like hospitals, universities etc.
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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.