As a registered charity in Canada there are specific and sometimes unique compliance requirements and stakeholder expectations that you face.
Some of the legal issues that charities face include:
- T3010 annual charity information return and transparency;
- Proper issuance of official donation receipts;
- Staying within a charity’s legal objects;
- Corporate changes resulting from new non-profit corporate acts;
- Fundraising regulation and CRA’s guidance on fundraising;
- Complying with restricted gift requirements and changing those requirements;
- Grantmarking, both locally and internationally;
- Changes to the disbursement quota and its impact on charities;
- Avoiding abusive charity tax schemes;
- Payments to directors;
- The importance of keeping adequate books and records;
- Allowable political activities of Canadian charities;
- Business activities and social enterprise by Canadian charities; and
- Handling CRA charity audits.
Charity Risk Review
Although we assist charities before, during, and after audits, most of the work in maintaining charitable status is done by organizations preemptively tackling issues who are not being audited. It is also less stressful and more cost effective to deal with the issues before you are being investigated by the media or CRA.
External risk reviews by our firm can provide charities with an opportunity to assess whether their operations are compliant with the current legal requirements, to minimize risk and to incrementally improve their operations before a donor, the media or the Charities Directorate expresses concern.
CRA Charity Audits
The Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency audits approximately 800 registered charities every year. For some charities having legal counsel during the process can be helpful.