Posts Tagged ‘Canada Revenue Agency’

Public interest should be central to regulation of charities’ political activities

January 6th, 2017 by Brian Iler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been notorious in recent years for its attacks on charities for their alleged political activities. Charities concerned about climate change and Aboriginal rights bore the brunt, with some still awaiting the attitude change promised by Justin Trudeau when he took power.

Taking Trudeau at his word, our law firm provided our thoughts to the Liberals’ inquiry on the issue of how charities’ political activities should be regulated.

Below is a précis. Our full submission is here.

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Non-profits await change from Liberal government. Here’s what needs to happen

April 5th, 2016 by Brian Iler

This article was first published on rabble.ca

In mandate letters to his newly appointed ministers, Justin Trudeau told Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and his minister responsible for Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Diane Lebouthillier, to:

“modernize the rules governing the charitable and not-for-profit sectors. … A new legislative framework to strengthen the sector will emerge from this process.”

Wonderful news, for both charities and non-profits (sometimes referred to as “not-for-profits”). For non-charitable non-profits, this was especially exciting, as their voice in political circles is regularly eclipsed by far-better organized charities.

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Charity law blocks progress on issues facing Canadians

February 17th, 2015 by Iler Campbell

Saturday’s edition of the Toronto Star features an op-ed penned by Brian and Garfield Mahood. In it they write of Canadian charities under attack for turning a spotlight onto the Harper government’s policies or for advocating for public policy change. CRA audits of charitable status, they write, are creating a culture of self-censorship that is inhibiting many NGOs from working effectively.

Read the full article here

Charities and the limits of political action under the Harper government

July 31st, 2014 by Brian Iler

Environmental Defence. PEN Canada. Amnesty International Canada. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Canada Without Poverty. The David Suzuki Foundation.

What do these organizations have in common — aside from all doing great work?

All are registered charities.

All have been publicly critical of Stephen Harper’s government.

And all are undergoing audits of their political activities by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

What’s this about? Here’s what you need to know.

Read more on rabble.ca

Canada Revenue Agency’s Guidance: How to Draft Purposes for Charitable Registration (CG 019)

August 12th, 2013 by Ted Hyland

On July 25, 2013, the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) issued policy guidance on how to draft purposes clauses for charitable registration. At the same time, CRA also issued revised Model Purposes clauses.

The Guidance will apply to new applicants for charitable registration, existing registered charities that are seeking to change their charitable purposes and, undoubtedly, will be used by CRA in auditing registered charities and assessing their eligibility for ongoing registration.

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Small and Rural Charities Initiative Update

October 15th, 2012 by Laura Bowman

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) completed its Joint Action Plan as part of the Small and Rural Charities Initiative.  The recommendations include more community-based, in-person service for small and rural charities through the development of community partnerships with umbrella groups, universities, or colleges, where feasible and providing a list of services available to charities in their communities (such as municipal benefits, pro-bono university legal services, etc.).  The CRA may also consider developing and distributing educational products, including a Roadshow (Charity Information Session) DVD to small and rural charities, as well as to newly registered charities, non-compliant charities, and other charities upon request.  The CRA will also consider promoting the development of community networks, to enable small and rural charities to communicate, share best practices, and learn from each other.  There is a full chart setting out the recommendations. For more information see the report The Small and Rural Charities: Making a Difference for Canadians.

Rural charities may have limited access to expertise and may need legal advice to get their organization into compliant condition.  Please contact us today to get assistance with CRA issues facing small and rural charities.