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Charities

Annual general meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic

Many not-for-profit corporations (NFPs) hold their annual general meetings (AGMs) in the Spring. With a number of provinces issuing directives and advisories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, including with respect to meeting sizes and venues, a number of NFPs are considering their options with respect to their Spring AGMs.

 

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Corona Virus/COVID-19 charity issues – cancelling events, refunds and the possibility of a charitable donation

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting charities in numerous ways. In this short note, we will discuss cancelling events and refunding money or attempting to turn that into a potential charitable donation.

 

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CRA Charities Directorate announces extension of T3010 filing deadlines till December 31, 2020 in response to COVID-19

As part of government actions taken in dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charities Directorate is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020, for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

 

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Tax preparer given prison sentence for false charitable donation receipts

Here is a recent bulletin from CRA dealing with the problem of fraudulent official donation receipts.

 

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CRA replaces RC59 with Form AUT-01 Authorize a Representative for Access by Phone and Mail

CRA has said that they will no longer accept the RC59 Business Consent for Offline Access and now as of today one will need to use the new Form AUT-01 Authorize a Representative for Access by Phone and Mail.

 

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The Lord works in mysterious ways

The Federal Court of Appeal recently released its decision in the Church of Atheism of Central Canada case. While the Appellant appears to have been self-represented the case provides guidance to lawyers in the area and corrects what may have been the start of a very difficult path for the law of charities.

 

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The new Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return

In November 2019, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) revised Form T3010, to reflect recent changes in the law governing political advocacy. All registered charities and Registered National Arts Service Organizations (RNASOs) must complete a Form T3010 each fiscal year.

 

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Directors of not-for-profits and charities – resignation, removal and replacement

An effective board of directors is key to the success of any charity or not-for-profit entity (“NFP”). A frequent concern is what to do about directors who, for whatever reason, are no longer appropriate for the organization.

 

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Governance considerations for unincorporated associations that will pay off in the long run

It is not unusual for startup organizations to be attracted to the concept of an unincorporated association, since unincorporated associations require little effort to form and are less costly to run than corporations.

 

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It’s a whole new ball game for charities at the FCA

Many in the sector have, for many years, advocated that appeals from decisions to revoke and refusals to register be heard by the Tax Court for this exact reason. They are simply better suited for testing the facts. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, these pleas have not been heard by Parliament, now though, for strictly practical reasons, they may have no choice but to make changes. All around, Vavilov will have positive implications for the charity sector.

 

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ON government access to information disclosure on ONCA – so many pages and so little said

Since February 2019 there has not been any update from the Ontario government about ONCA coming into force. As we have noted before the Ontario government is no longer referring to ONCA coming into force in early 2020. A few months ago we put in a freedom of information request on ONCA and the computer company developing the new ONBIS system. We just received the answer to my ATIP request and needless to say it does not answer either of the questions with there being some significant redactions.

 

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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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ONCA – does no update mean no ONCA?

I have been asking the Ontario government for months for an update on whether ONCA is coming into force and when. On September 25, 2019 I received a short note from the Policy and Business Law Unit of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS). They noted

 

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Not-for-profits should leverage information technology, safely

Not-for-profits have numerous opportunities to leverage information technology (IT), from social media to cloud computing and beyond.

 

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Question to CRA on alter ego trusts and whether transfers are a donation

STEP Canada had a CRA Roundtable on June 6-7, 2019 and they discussed a number of topics. One issue of interest to charities and philanthropists is Question 2 dealing with alter ego trusts and donations.

 

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