Latest News

July 31, 2014

“Selecting Great Charities – only tough if your eyes are open”

Here is a link to an article "Selecting Great Charities – only tough if your eyes are open" which recently appeared on the CanadaHelps website.  

July 01, 2014

Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Canadian Charity Sector 2012 -data on Canadian charities

The Blumbergs’ Snapshot of the Canadian Charity Sector 2012 provides important data on the size and scope of Canadian charities.   The Canadian charity sector is a vital part of Canadian society and economy with revenue of over $223 billion and expenditures of about $218 billion.

April 17, 2014

Toronto Star covers CRA criminal investigation of charity tax shelters

In an article entitled "Canada Revenue Agency expands investigations of tax shelters", Kevin Donovan of the Toronto Star discusses how "As many as 12 charity tax shelter promoters are under criminal investigation for schemes that saw donors contribute millions of dollars in return for charity receipts worth six times as much."

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February 28, 2014

Kérouac v The Queen - municipality in charity scheme cannot safeguard dignity, honour, reputation

Here is an interesting case in which a municipality, that was allegedly involved in a charity scheme, wanted leave to intervene in a Tax Court of Canada matter involving a donor who had made a donation to the municipality. The TCC maintained “The Municipality is in no way subject to a tax assessment related to the one at issue in this appeal and the judgment in this appeal cannot have a financial impact on the Municipality.”

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January 27, 2014

Some historical CRA letters when revocation of charity status

Wondering why certain charities were deregistered? Here are CRA revocation letters. These letters set out the CRA reasons for revocation of charitable status when CRA is alleging cause. Read More >

January 11, 2014

CRA press release on Canadian abusive charity gifting tax shelters

According to the CRA, the problem of “abusive charity gifting tax schemes” continues. These are schemes that promise that if you put in say $1000 through a complicated scheme you will end up with a $5000 receipt and therefore you can save $2500 in taxes. CRA notes that two additional strategies will be used to prevent Canadians from investing in these schemes. The first is that CRA will not assess tax returns until after the tax shelter scheme has been reviewed. That means a person who claims tax benefits under one of these schemes and then files a tax return may have to wait a couple years for a refund. Also as per the 2013 budget CRA can collect 50% of the taxes owing of an amount in dispute. What is shocking from the press release is apparently over 182,000 taxpayers have participated in these schemes. Read More >

December 19, 2013

CRA press release “Donate wisely this holiday season!”

CRA has been warning Canadians to be careful when donating to charities. Read More >

December 08, 2013

Federal Court of Appeal dismisses Kossow appeal - another abusive charity donation scheme loses

Here is a link to Federal Court of Appeal site for Kossow v. Canada: Read More >

November 22, 2012

Salvation Army hit by two major frauds in Toronto and Ottawa

Over the last week the Salvation Army has told the media that they have fired one employee in Ottawa for allegedly stealing funds and an employee in Toronto for allegedly stealing over $2 million in toys. The stories illustrate the importance of internal financial controls. Apparently the Salvation Army had upgraded their internal controls after a large fraud a few years ago. The Salvation Army quite notably went straight to the media when they learned of the problem. That is very commendable. Many charities prefer to ignore or hide situations of material diversion of assets and it is welcome that the Salvation Army acknowledged the problem and swiftly took action. Hopefully something positive will come out of this difficult situation. Perhaps there will be greater awareness for the need to have financial controls in charities.

November 19, 2012

Vancouver Sun article on Rick Hansen Foundation, receipting issues and transparency