Here is a list of Upcoming Webinars for the Canadian Charity Law Association
Blumbergs has created a very interesting new website called CharityData.ca. Here is a short video which provides an overview of this powerful tool with information on over 86,000 Canadian registered charities with up to 10 years historical information on each registered charity. This tool will be particularly important for donors, funders, journalists, volunteers, those staff responsible for financial management and regulators.
The work that charities do is extremely important to our society, so it is vital that various stakeholders, such as the public, the media, the government, donors, employees, boards, donors and others. have access to key information on what the charity is doing and how it is doing it. In general, transparency will ultimately increase public trust and confidence in the sector by making the public more informed about the work of charities and making it more difficult for people to misuse charities. However, from a legal perspective registered charities have few requirements in terms of transparency. Registered charities must file a T3010 Registered Charity Information Return with a financial statement and various schedules with the CRA every year. Here are some simple suggestions for charities to increase transparency.
If you are interested in why the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency recently revoked certain charities then you might find these letters from the CRA to the revoked charities helpful.
The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the CRA's ability to impose third party civil penalties when people abuse charities in the Guindon case.
New numbers from CRA identify that "As of March 31, 2014, the CRA has denied more than $6.3 billion in donation claims and reassessed over 190,000 taxpayers who participated in these gifting tax shelters. The CRA has also assessed more than $162 million in third party penalties against promoters and tax preparers."Read More >
The CRA announced that it has revoked a charity, Skyway Foundation of Canada, for issuing inflated receipts for donations of marketable securities. In Mark Blumberg's Receipting Kit it notes: "When a donor donates shares on certain stock exchanges, the CRA has “as a general rule, accepted the use of the closing bid price of the share on the date it is received or the mid-point between the high and the low trading prices for the day, whichever provides the best indicator, given the circumstances, of fair market value on normal and active market trading.” In some cases, such as thinly traded shares, this may not be appropriate." CRA notes in its press release that "During 2008, a private group of taxpayers engaged in transactions designed to artificially inflate the value of publicly traded shares. These shares were subsequently donated to the Organization which, in turn, issued official donation receipts totaling approximately $2.6 million. Subsequent to the donation, in 2009, these shares lost nearly 95% of their value resulting in a substantial loss to the Organization." it appears that this revocation was for thinly traded shares that were artificially inflated.Read More >
The Taxpayers’ Ombudsman has released a major report entitled “Donor Beware” on charity gifting tax shelter schemes. The 39 page report rips into charitable gifting tax shelters. Although it is generally very positive about the work of CRA in trying to educate taxpayers and denying the tax credits it does make some recommendations for CRA to increase educational efforts to donors on the dangers of these schemes.Read More >
The CRA has released its guidance on ineligible individuals (CG-024). The new rules were announced in the 2011 Federal Budget and it is helpful to see CRA finally providing its guidance on ineligible individuals.
Here is a list of Canadian charities that had lost their registrations for cause. We have now updated the list to August 2014. This list contains over 5 years information on charities deregistered as a result of audit, which used to be referred to as “for cause”. This list does not include registered charities who were revoked for “failure to file” their annual return or asked for voluntary revocation or those that were revoked for the sole reason that they were corporately dissolved.