In his November 2015 Mandate Letter to the Minister of National
Revenue, Diane Lebouthillier, Prime Minister Trudeau mandated her
to work to "modernize" Canada's charity law and
clarify the rules in the Income Tax Act that deal with
political activities. Budget 2016 confirms the
Government's commitment to take on the task of clarifying the
political activity rules. More specifically, the Budget
announced that the "Canada Revenue Agency, in consultation
with the Department of Finance, will engage with charities through
discussions with stakeholder groups and an online consultation to
clarify the rules governing the political activities of
charities." No further information was provided in the
Budget about the process.
The November 2015 Mandate Letter also stated that the Minister
should "allow charities to do their work on behalf of
Canadians free from political harassment ... with an understanding
that charities make an important contribution to public debate and
public policy." Leading up to this announcement, the
Canada Revenue Agency had been carrying out a formal audit program,
the focus of which was to look at charities' political
activities. No comments on the audit program were made in the
The budget is arguably consistent with the Government's
commitment to allow charities to work free from political
harassment. The specifics of any clarification or revision to
the rules around political activities of course remain to be
seen. Charities should watch for public consultations on this
topic. We will continue to follow developments in this area
and will report on them in our Newsletter.
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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Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions or GST.
Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, the Canada Pension Plan Act and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions.
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