The CRA Charities Directorate has released several new resources
in 2014 that will be of interest to charities and their donors.
New Videos on Political Activities
CRA has released three short videos that provide an outline of
the rules related to political activities. As part of the
2012 Budget, CRA was provided with additional funding to support
its education and compliance activities in relation to political
activities. CRA has published various resources related to political activities,
which should be reviewed by any organization that engages (or may
engage) in public calls to action to encourage political change, or
which engages generally in public policy analysis and/or advocacy
and wants to ensure that it fully understands the rules.
CRA Updates Charities Media Kit for 2013-2014
CRA recently updated its online Charities Media Kit to include data from the
2013-2014 fiscal year (ending March 31, 2014). The Media Kit
provides information on various aspects related to the regulation
of registered charities. It also includes facts and figures
on the Charities Directorate's activities in 2013-2014.
The Kit confirms as follows for 2013-2014:
as of December 31, 2013, there are a total of 86,617 registered
CRA conducted 845 audits of registered charities;
CRA revoked 695 registered charities for failing to file their
CRA revoked the registration of 23 charities for cause;
CRA received 3917 new applications for charitable registration;
CRA received 418 applications for re-registration.
These statistics confirm the importance of filing T3010 returns
on time each year. The T3010 is required to be filed within 6
months of a registered charity's year end. Failure to
file the information return on time initiates in an automatic
revocation process. Once a charity has been de-registered for
failure to file, it must re-apply for registration and pay a $500
fee. It is clear from the statistics in the Media Kit that
failure to file the T3010 return is by far the most common reason
The statistics also show that charities should be aware that CRA
is an active regulator and audits a significant number of
registered charities each year. Some audits arise through
random selection, while others follow-up on possible non-compliance
or complaints. It is important that charities review their
compliance with the rules in the Income Tax Act regularly so as to
be prepared in the event of an audit. Charities that have
entered into past compliance agreements with the Charities
Directorate, or which engage in activities that tend to draw
particular CRA scrutiny (e.g., foreign activities) should be
particularly vigilant, as they face a higher risk of audit.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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