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News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Canada Revenue Agency

The sharing economy expands the tax base

The sharing economy has disrupted the traditional taxi, hospitality and other sectors, and is expanding the tax base available to governments and revenue agencies worldwide.

 

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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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Substantively enacted corporate income tax rates

corporate income tax rates

Ernst and Young’s tables of substantively enacted corporate income tax rates have been updated to December 31, 2016. The tables are prepared on a monthly basis and you can subscribe to them on Knotia.ca. The determination of the substantively enacted date of a corporate income tax rate change follows the guideline provided in EIC-111 (generally […]

 

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Political activities law: Charity brings new Charter challenge

When the Liberals came into power last year, the new Minister of National Revenue announced that she was putting a halt to the “political activities” audit of charities that the previous administration had been conducting for the past few years. In practice, this meant that the charities in line to be audited under the program were given a reprieve, but those that were already in the course of being audited were not. One of the latter charities, Canada Without Poverty, is now bringing a constitutional challenge against the political activities law.

 

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CRA provision misuse: The right to remain silent

Practically every tax professional in the country has had to deal with the situation which arises when the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) bases its reassessing position on the basis of an oral comment to the CRA. The difficulty is that there is no proof the comment was made or it may have been the result of a misunderstanding between the parties. In our practice we had one instance where a comment by an official of a charity to the CRA served as basis for reassessing over a thousand taxpayers. While the official admitted to having made the comment the fact was that the CRA auditor had misunderstood the context in which it was made.

 

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Charities political activities: CRA consulting on rules

The Government of Canada has committed to modernizing the rules governing the charitable sector to ensure that they are operating in a regulatory environment that respects and encourages their contribution to society. One of the areas they are looking into is clarifying the rules governing charities political activities.

 

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Business tax information just got clearer!

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has announced that it has redesigned the correspondence it sends to Corporations regarding their business tax information, including individual Canadians, and Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) notices of assessment (NOA) and notices of reassessment (NOR). The CRA has made changes to how the notices are structured, designed, formatted, and written, making the information easier to read and understand.

 

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Even in the face of disaster, charities should not stray from their purposes

Whether it is assisting Syrian refugees to settle in Canada or helping those fleeing from floods and fires, the goodwill of the people and charities in Canada always make headlines. In times of disaster, it seems many charities want to raise money and get on the bandwagon to help those in need. Although this may be a laudable goal for charities that want to show their benevolence, sometimes it could simply get them into trouble.

 

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Data breach protection services: Taxable in Canada?

A recent IRS announcement raises questions about how Canadian tax authorities will treat the free data protection services that organizations often provide in order to mitigate data breaches.

 

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Like pornography – The Court will know major T3010 inaccuracies when it sees them

In most cases the application of law is conceptually simple the law is transgressed and a punishment applies. Unfortunately, in the charity world nothing is simple. When a charity is found to have transgressed the law the Charities Directorate may decide on a range of options. One widely used mechanism is the Compliance Agreement (a “CA”) in which the Directorate identifies the offence and the charity promises not to do it anymore. If (and when) the Directorate audits again it almost always moves directly to revocation if the charity is again (or still) offending in the same way.

 

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The Voluntary Disclosures Program: A “second chance” to come forward and correct tax affairs

In light of the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) annual report revealing that there has been a significant increase in the number of Canadians coming forward to correct their tax affairs under the Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP), we wanted to give some insight into what the VDP is about. Essentially, the VDP gives a taxpayer a […]

 

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Does being an Ontario not-for-profit corporation mandate audited financial statements?

Given that many (although certainly not all) not-for-profit corporations (“NFPs”), both charitable and non-charitable, have a December year end and are preparing for their year end financial reporting, we thought it timely to provide a reminder about the financial disclosure requirements contained in their governing corporate legislation.

 

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Canada Revenue Agency new T3010 reporting requirements

There is a new reporting requirement for Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return. The addition is necessary because of changes announced as part of the 2015 Federal Budget.

 

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Planned giving donors should make sure strings are attached

Planned giving has been an issue of interest to the charitable sector for several years. The enthusiasm by which the sector has taken up the discussion has permeated the donor community. As a result donations by will are a common occurrence. But if the donor does not monitor developments with the charity the gift could lapse and frustrate the donor’s intentions to support the organization.

 

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What others say may be held against you

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently issued an Advisory on Partisan Political Activities (the Advisory). It warned charities that the prohibition against partisan political statements also extended to Internet links to third-party statements and to user comments posted on charities’ websites, blogs or other social media.

 

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