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Income Tax Act

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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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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Proposed foreign merger rollovers rules: Welcome news to foreign companies that cannot rely on existing tax treaty rollover provisions

On October 27, 2017, under Bill C-63, the Department of Finance released proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act (Canada) (“ITA”) introducing a new elective rule allowing non-residents tax-deferred rollover treatment on dispositions of certain taxable Canadian property (“TCP”) in a foreign merger.

 

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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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Federal Court of Appeal denies CRA routine access to tax accrual working papers

On March 30, 2017, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) released its decision in BP Canada Energy Company v. MNR (2017 FCA 61), dealing with whether the Minister of National Revenue (the Minister) could compel the taxpayer to disclose the uncertain tax positions reflected in its tax accrual working papers (TAWPs).

 

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Upcoming corporate income tax changes to curb income sprinkling issues

On July 18, 2017, the federal Department of Finance released legislative proposals and a consultation paper dealing with tax planning affecting private corporations. The goal is to close loopholes that allow wealthy Canadians to avoid higher tax rates, largely by targeting people who incorporate themselves and then draw income from their businesses while paying lower corporate taxes. These proposals, if enacted, will potentially affect most Canadian business owners who carry on their businesses through private corporations, significantly increase the complexity of the tax rules applicable to private corporations and reverse many long-standing tax policies that have encouraged business growth.

 

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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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CRA revises position on the retention of church envelopes

As a condition of charitable registration, charities are required to keep proper books and records. This requirement not only enables the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) to audit charities efficiently, but it also ensures that charities are able to justify and validate the information provided on their T3010, Registered Charity Information Returns. One of the most common […]

 

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Overview of record keeping obligations for non-profit organizations and registered charities

While non–profit organizations and charities are usually busy carrying out the purposes of their organization, record keeping often takes a back seat to other priorities. However, good record keeping practices by a non–profit organization or a registered charity should not be overlooked.

 

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New case law dealing with CRA requests for documents

On June 3, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada released two important decisions dealing with requests made by the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) for information. The cases highlight the fact that when an individual or an organization receive such a request from CRA, they should consider whether any of the information requested is subject to solicitor–client privilege. If solicitor–client privilege applies, the information should not be produced.

 

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Thirty percent rule update and tax policy review

The federal government is reviewing one of the investment rules that applies to registered pension plan investments. The review is considering both the pension and tax policy rationale for the rule. While the repeal or relaxation of this rule would not impact the majority of Canadian registered pension plans in terms of their actual investments, any changes to income tax rules relating to pension plan investments could have much broader application. If you wish to make submissions to the federal government, they must be submitted by Sept. 16, 2016.

 

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