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Corporate Administration and Legal Matters

Comply with lobbying and other political advocacy laws

Charities and other not-for-profits involved in lobbying and other political advocacy must comply with evolving laws governing these activities. Even amidst the COVID-19 crisis, the landscape continues to shift.

 

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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. We have received a number of inquiries from clients about how to do this and here are some tentative thoughts.

 

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Blumbergs’ COVID-19 FAQs for registered charities and non-profits

This COVID-19 FAQ, provided by Blumbergs, deals with common issues affecting Canadian registered charities and non-profit corporations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Fiscal year ends, business continuity, and COVID-19

At the best of times, fiscal year ends are challenging. Organizations with upcoming or recent fiscal year ends will undoubtedly find them particularly challenging. Organizations with robust policies and procedures will likely fare better than those without. Consequently, it will be helpful to start your year end planning as early as you can.

 

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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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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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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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The essentials of anti-bribery and anti-corruption compliance programs

Organizations at risk of anti-bribery and anti-corruption (ABAC) violations should implement risk-based ABAC compliance programs.

 

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The CRA has released an updated 2019 version of its T3010 Registered Charity Information Return

The CRA has released recently the 2019 version C of its T3010 Registered Charity Information Return. The major changes deal with replacing political activities with “public policy dialogue and development activities” (PPDDAs).

 

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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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