Federal Budget 2014

Federal Budget 2014   “The Government of Canada recognizes that the charitable sector plays an essential and irreplaceable role in our society by providing valuable services to Canadians, including to those most in need.” – Budget 2014 Phew, you can sit back in your chairs now, as the 2014 Federal Budget didn’t deliver any earth-shattering news. There are, however, a number of changes that will impact the nonprofit and charitable sector. The changes can be categorized into action areas: • Encouraging Donations – Expanded carry-forward period for donations of eco-sensitive land & increased flexibility in the tax treatment of charitable donations from estates. • Reducing Administrative Burdens – Introduction of electronic filing for annual information returns, electronic registration for charities, and charities will be able to use computers to conduct lotteries. • Capacity Building – Opportunities for nonprofits to benefit from partnerships with highly-skilled graduate students and researchers. • Skill Development and Employment – Introduction of a number of programs aimed at reducing the gap between skills and available jobs, plus an announcement that the controversial Canada Jobs Grant will come into effect on April 1st. • Review and Consultations – Review of whether the income tax exemption for NPOs is properly targeted, including public consultation on the income tax framework. • Preventing Abuse of Charitable Status – New authority to revoke or refuse registration of charities accepting donations from foreign states listed as a supporter of terrorism. Resources The following resources do a particularly good job explaining, in more detail, some of the changes affecting the nonprofit and charitable sector. Imagine Canada’s – Items of Interest to Charities...

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

See our Anti-Spam Resource Page for recent updates and information. Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation On December 4, Federal Minister of Industry James Moore announced that Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into force on July 1, 2014.  The legislation is intended to deter spam and other damaging and deceptive electronic threats. CASL applies to commercial electronic messages (CEMs), which are defined as messages in which: the content; hyperlinks to other content; or contact information in the message can reasonably be interpreted as having as its purpose (or one of its purposes), “to encourage participation in a commercial activity”. What it means for charities and nonprofits The implications are not yet fully known. What we do know is that an exemption for messages sent by registered charities that have raising funds for the charity as their primary purpose was recently added to the regulations supporting the law. According to the government release, “Canadian charities, which operate based on the generosity of Canadians, will be able to continue fundraising as before.” Charities will still need to distinguish between commercial messages used to raise funds and those that include the promotion of commercial activities that are not considered to be fundraising activities. All commercial electronic messages sent by nonprofits that are not registered as charities (including those intended to raise funds) will still fall under CASL. For those messages not exempted from the regulations, organizations will need to: Obtain consent from recipients before sending commercial electronic messages. a)   Consent will be “implied” in the case of members, donors or volunteers that have been active in the two years immediately prior to the date the...

CRA's Rules for Advocacy by Charities

Across Canada, charities have a wealth of in-depth knowledge about their community and the populations they serve. Organizations working on the ground can identify new or emerging issues and opportunities, and be a source of insight and expertise. Sharing this knowledge with all levels of government can lead to the development of and implementation of effective policies that build a healthy and vibrant community.

Under rules set out by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), charities must devote substantially all of their resources to their charitable purposes and activities. They can only use 10% of their resources for allowable political activities (non-partisan) that further their charitable purpose. These restrictions, known as the “10% rule,” are set in CRA’s Policy Statement on Political Activities (CPS-022), an interpretation of the Income Tax Act.

Bill C-470: An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Disclosure of Compensation For Registered Charities)

Update April 20, 2011
With the dissolution of Parliament on March 26, all bills that had not received Royal Assent, including Bill C-470 on compensation disclosure for registered charities, have been terminated. Bills cannot be reinstated; however, a new bill with the same or similar intent to that of Bill C-470 could be reintroduced in the next Parliament. MP Albina Guarnieri, who originally sponsored the Bill C-470, is not seeking re-election, so another member of parliament would have to introduce the bill.

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