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Registered charities

Receipting and donor relations

This case is a reminder that charities need to be mindful of the rules when they issue donation receipts. Donors rely on the receipts in order to claim tax credits/deductions. If the Minister denies a donor’s claim for a tax credit/deduction on the basis that the charity did not include all of the required information, this will reflect poorly on the charity and could harm its relationships with donors.


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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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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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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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Top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts 2016 & Season’s Greetings

We are signing off with a list of the top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts 2016. Privacy issues and director’s liability seem to have been hot topics this year with several blog posts on the topics making it on the list. The top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts 2016 Director’s liability […]


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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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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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Ministry of Finance accepting comments on new Employer Health Tax rules for charities

The Ontario Ministry of Finance is proposing a new regulation under the Employer Health Tax Act, to include special Employer Health Tax rules for registered charities. The new regulation could be effective as early as January 1, 2017.


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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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Evolving employment contract law, political activities and charities

Learn why you need to review your contracts and advocacy practices with Not-for-Profit PolicyPro

As an Executive Director, there are many different areas that need your attention on a daily basis: strategic direction, fundraising, stakeholder engagement, employee and volunteer management, media relations and grant applications, just to name a few.

With all of these factors to manage, keeping up with changes in legal compliance and CRA requirements may not be perceived as a top priority. However, failing to pay attention to compliance can leave your organization vulnerable to the risk of financial penalties and have a negative impact on your reputation.

I want to highlight a couple of recent issues you may want to consider.


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Registered charities get ready to submit applications for Ontario property tax rebates

The deadline for registered charities (and eligible, similar entities) to submit property tax rebate applications for 2015 is the last day of February, 2016. Given the many variables that may be involved in an application, and the opportunities for early submission and therefore earlier cashflows, now is a good time to get started on rebate applications.


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Tips for dealing with CRA audits

The Income Tax Act confers on the CRA a broad range of powers to audit Canadian taxpayers, including registered charities and not-for-profit organizations (“NPOs”). Some examples of those audit powers that have been conferred on CRA include the power to inspect books and records, as well as to compel taxpayers to respond to requests for information or obtain third-party records at CRA’s request (potentially subject to CRA having received judicial authorization for the request).


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Charities and related businesses

Registered charities, except charities designated as private foundations, may run related businesses; however, the Income Tax Act does not define what a related business is except to state that a volunteer-run business is to be considered a related business even if there is no link between the business and the objects of a charity.


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Top 10 most read Inside Internal Controls posts published in 2014 and Season’s Greetings

The holidays are upon us and it is time to take a well deserved break. We are signing off for 2014 with a list of the top 10 most read posts published in 2014. Although Canada’s anti-spam legislation dominated the list, accessibility, internal controls and charities were also very topical.


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Not-for-profits should be doing some strategic thinking

Typically, because charities are subject to so much regulation and not-for-profits comparatively little, most focus from the sector tends to fall on the former. However, there are changes both recent and expected that not-for-profits should be planning for.


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