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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

Charities in the waiting room

Most organizations that are pursuing charitable status are incorporated. Part of the requirement for achieving such status is that the corporation is organized to pursue charitable purposes. But that by itself is not enough for charitable registration and so prospective charities must apply to the CRA for registration. The question then arises about the tax status of those corporations that are not yet (and may never be) registered charities, and what are their responsibilities?

 

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An ounce of prevention

As lawyers, we are often contacted when a dispute arises amongst members of an association. Inevitably, the dispute will devolve into a review of the legality of the actions of one or both sides

 

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The charities and the Canada Elections Act amendments series

Two major changes to the field of political participation received royal assent on December 13th, 2018: changes to the charities’ political activities rules in the Income Tax Act, and changes to the Canada Elections Act.

 

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“Social impact bonds” on the rise in Canada

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are an interesting part of the larger trend of ‘impact investing’ that has been rising in Canada and around the world in recent years.

 

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Changes in Ontario to director remuneration

The new provisions of Ontario Regulation 112/18 that amends O. Reg. 4/01 (Approved Acts of Executors and Trustees) under the Charities Accounting Act modify the existing Ontario common law rule that prohibited a charity from making payments to a director (or any person related to him/her) for any reason (other than reimbursement of expenses) without first obtaining a court order.

 

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Do record keeping time limits mean anything anymore?

One of the most common questions asked by the lay taxpayer is for how long they need to keep their tax records. And while there is a legislated answer for this, one wonders whether it is ever safe to destroy records.

 

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TCC Clarifies child care expenses in Kwan

Kids are expensive. There’s no doubt about that. The Canadian government provides a small subsidy by allowing a limited amount of child care expenses to be deducted from income taxes.

 

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No good deed goes unpunished

Fundamentally, charities are actors in society as are any others. We all have a duty of care to some degree to our neighbors. Indeed, generally the closer the relationship the higher the standard of care one expects. Consequently, charities need to be aware that even in the pursuit of charitable activities, they could be liable if their activities do not take into account the safety and the potential damage of their actions to either their beneficiaries or to their patron donors.

 

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Wine(ing) about donations

A recently released decision of the Tax Court of Canada illustrates some of the problems in donating gifts in kind and their valuation.

 

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An ounce of preparation

There is no need to reinvent the wheel in this crisis management initiative. There are many resources online and common-sense articles, checklists and manuals about crisis management.

 

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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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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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