In this decision, a taxpayer appealed the Minister of National Revenue’s denial of his claim for a charitable donation in 2009. The amount he claimed represented his estimate of the fair market value of the use by a registered charity of two rooms in his home (rent-free) over a two year period. The issue in this decision was whether the use by the charity of two rooms in Mr. Carson’s home, valued at $130 a month, represented a charitable gift from Mr. Carson to the registered charity, eligible for tax credits.
The court stated:
“Peaceful Schools used the rooms not pursuant to any lease or even pursuant to any licence, but used the rooms with the couples blessing, through their kindness, at their will, on their good graces, choose any expression you like. There was no right, certainly no transferable right, no property. Peaceful Schools could not assign this purported right to the use of the rooms. Mr. Carson gave nothing to Peaceful Schools that was a property as such. He, or his wife, simply allowed Peaceful Schools the use of the rooms. He, with his wife, could have rented the rooms – they did not. They perhaps could have granted a licence for the use of the rooms – they did not. From both a practical and legal perspective, I fail to see how any property has been transferred.”
The court held that there was not a transfer of property of any kind so there could not have been a charitable gift and the appeal was dismissed.
Here is the full decision: Ward_Carson_v._The_Queen_decision_.pdf
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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.