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Author Archive - Drache Aptowitzer LLP

Drache Aptowitzer LLP is one of Canada’s foremost experts in the law related to charities and non-profit organizations. Their team of bloggers is led by Adam Aptowitzer LLB. He is a lawyer practicing in the areas of charity and tax law. He is a member of both the bars of Alberta and Ontario. He has been speaking and writing on the topic of charity law for several years and been published in numerous publications including the Canadian Taxpayer, the Canadian Fundraiser and the Not-for-Profit News and has been cited as an expert in many publications including the National Post. Read more here

Back to school: A new world for foreign universities

The system of rules imposed on registered charities are complex and are imposed both on the collection of revenue and its spending. In theory, all of these rules now apply to foreign universities.

 

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Directors’ liability for source deductions

An issue came up when a CRA auditor queried CRA rulings. She had a file where she intended to assess the directors of a not-for-profit corporation for its failure to remit trust funds. The directors had retained legal counsel, who was of the view that directors’ liability does not apply to directors of a not-for-profit corporation.

 

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Government sin of omission may lead to your sin of commission

In enacting changes to the regime which deals with donations to foreign universities Budget 2018 has created an immediate issue for anybody that donates to these schools. What is unknown is whether this was intentional.

 

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Function and form

A recent decision of the Tax Court illustrates a concept whose importance is only matched by the universality to which it is ignored. The case of Lichtman involved a number of Orthodox Rabbis teaching at an Orthodox Jewish school in Vancouver. The Rabbis claimed what is known as the “Clergy Residence Deduction” and ultimately lost their case.

 

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CRA guidance: Charitable status for internal divisions

internal divisions

Many larger charities are structured in such a way that there is a head organization with subordinate divisions operating below it. For example, a charity that operates across the country may do so by way of local ‘chapters’ overseen by a main organization, or a religious governing body may have several related parishes.

 

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It’s giving season: Tax credits for charitable donations vs. political contributions

With the holiday season upon us, many Canadians are turning their minds to both good-will and the end of the tax year. The next time you reach for your wallet to make a donation or contribution, think back on this summary of the differences between the two and reflect on what the tax implications will be.

 

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Rules around raffles: Don’t get sent up the river for sending rubber duckies down the river

Raffles (or, properly speaking, raffle lotteries) can be a fun, efficient, and relatively non-labour-intensive means of making moderate amounts of money for a not-for-profit or charity. Did you know, however, that the regulatory framework governing raffles (charitable gaming) ultimately flows from the Criminal Code?

 

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Small change large consequences: Ontario’s regulatory change to the payment of directors

Directors simply cannot benefit from the property of a charity whether registered or not, either directly or indirectly. This article explains why and details recent amendments to Ontario’s rules to allow charities to pay directors for goods and services rendered.

 

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“All or substantially all” – A look at CRA’s political activities test

Given that the Minister of National Revenue is considering the results of the recent Consultation Panel on the Political Activity of Charities which provided suggestions on the political activities test it may be worthwhile to look at a specific aspect of the test which relates it back to the related business rules (and social enterprise). […]

 

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Balancing confidence and flexibility in gift planning

Typically when donors are considering their end of life gift planning they attempt to include a number of strings by which to effectively direct their donations from beyond the grave. Generally speaking when the donation is large or the gift has personal, sentimental value to the donor (such as artwork) the strings attached will be significant.

 

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Withholding on foreign workers

Charities spend a great deal of time and energy focusing on audits from the Charities Directorate. While this attention on the Directorate is justifiable it is important to recognize that charity regulation is only one function of the Canada Revenue Agency (the “CRA”) and that charities are answerable to the CRA for many of its activities.

 

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Charities and not-for-profits: Beware the usual rules

Charities and not-for-profits are obviously subject to a layer of laws that are related to their special status. Often overlooked though, is that they are equally subject to the same rules and regulations as other economic actors. Indeed, sometimes there are linkages between these two worlds making the need for good legal awareness that much more critical.

 

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Church and religious organizations: Maybe Adam and Eve could have appealed their sentence

We are often contacted by charities seeking to insulate themselves from potential legal action by disgruntled former members of their organization. This typically results from situations where the individual has been kicked out of the organization for specific misconduct. Although, for the most part, these disputes result in acrimonious name calling from time to time, these matters are litigated. A recent decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal is one circumstance where an irate former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses took the matter to Court.

 

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Expanded Employer Health Tax exemption for charities with multiple locations

As of January 1, 2017, the Employer Health Tax rules specific to charities have undergone a significant change that will benefit certain charities with multiple locations: If a registered charity has more than one “qualifying campus”, it can claim an Employer Health Tax exemption amount for each one of them separately.

 

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Political activities: Consultations may have side effects

As our readers know, the new government has taken steps to revamp the restrictions on political activities by charities, by dismantling the political activities audit program and by promising a new approach following consultation with the public and members of the charities industry. It is important, however, to note that the changes may not only effect the charity realm as Nova Scotia Community Interest Corporations have similar restrictions.

 

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