CRA Accepting Feedback on NEW Draft Guidance Documents for Public Policy Dialogue and Development Activities by Charities

Yesterday, the CRA released the much-anticipated draft guidance documents, used to explain the recent changes to the Income Tax Act (ITA). These changes, passed just before the new year, update the rules governing charities’ political activities — permitting them to engage in unlimited nonpartisan public policy dialogue and development activities (PPDDAs) that further a stated charitable purpose. The guidance document provides clarity on a number of concerns that CCVO had previously raised, such as the definitions of “direct” and “indirect” support or opposition to a political party or candidate for public office. We will be sharing more detailed input into the current draft in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, we recommend that you review your organization’s stated charitable purpose(s) to ensure that it remains (along with providing a public benefit) the primary consideration when carrying out PPDDAs. Also, while charities can now devote 100% of their total resources to PPDDAs, they are still prohibited from undertaking activities that support or oppose a political party or candidate for public office.

The ITA changes and the draft guidance documents are a big step forward for the sector and we look forward to embracing a more welcoming atmosphere for charities’ participation in public policy dialogue and development.

You can view the draft guidance documents here, and review general questions and answers provided by the CRA here.

Still have questions? CRA is accepting feedback on the draft until April 23, 2019. Please consider providing your feedback on the draft guidance documents here.