February 2020 Charity & NFP Law Update

Ryan M. Prendergast

CRA News

Excise and GST/HST News No. 107

The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) released its Excise and GST/HST News No. 107 (“Newsletter”) on February 19. 2020. Among other topics, the Newsletter discusses the newly implemented registered journalism organization (“RJO”) regime introduced at the beginning of 2020. While the CRA had previously released a Guidance on RJOs, discussed in Charity & NFP Law Bulletin No. 459, the Newsletter provides additional details concerning RJOs for GST/HST purposes. It indicates that RJOs are neither charities nor public institutions for GST/HST purposes, and therefore do not have any entitlements or obligations as such. However, an RJO that is not a trust may be a non-profit organization for GST/HST purposes. To be a non-profit organization, the RJO must be “organized and operated solely for non-profit purposes”; and must not “distribute or make available any of its income for the personal benefit of any proprietor, member, or shareholder, unless the proprietor, member, or shareholder is a club, a society, or an association that has, as its primary purpose and function, the promotion of amateur athletics in Canada.” In this regard, it is a question of fact whether or not an RJO meets the criteria for being a non-profit organization. 

CRA Introduces Digital Processes for Authorizations 

The CRA announced on January 16, 2020 that it was introducing new digital processes for online authorization requests made by charities’ representatives. Among various changes, Form RC59, Business Consent for Offline Access was combined with the T1013, Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative and NR95, Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative for a Non-Resident Tax Account to create one new consolidated form, the AUT-01, Authorize a Representative for Access by Phone and Mail. The changes took effect on February 10, 2020, and will only be used to request offline access to individual and business tax accounts. 

CRA Charities and Information Sessions and Webinars

The CRA has been providing free in-person information sessions to registered charities and qualified donees. The information sessions are intended to teach those within the charitable sector about their charity’s obligations. As the next round of in-person information sessions have not yet been announced, charities are encouraged to monitor the CRA’s website for information on new sessions. In addition to in-person information sessions, the CRA has also begun to provide online information sessions/webinars. Two sessions on Gifting and Receipting were held on February 24 and 26, 2020. Additional webinars will be offered by the CRA throughout the year on other topics. 

Read the February 2020 Issue

Competition Bureau’s Role in Digital Advertising: Implications for Charities and Not-for-Profits
CRA News
-  Excise and GST/HST News No. 107
-  CRA Introduces Digital Processes for Authorizations
-  CRA Charities and Information Sessions and Webinars
CAGP Provides Update on Gifts of Life Insurance in B.C.
Legislation Update 
-  Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying)
-  Ontario Bill 175, Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, 2020
-  Ontario Bill 136, Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019 Now Proclaimed
Donation Receipts Signed by and in Favour of Charity Officer Denied
Tax Court of Canada Rejects Charitable Donation Scheme… Again
Ontario Court Rules on Trusts in Scouts Land Ownership Dispute
One Incident of Sexual Harassment Justified Termination for Cause
BC Court Finds Indigenous Ceremonies in School Did Not Violate Freedom of Religion
Ministry of Health Revokes its Hospital Naming Directive
Recent Issues in Privacy: Case Law Update
New Canadian UDRP Provider for Resolving Domain Name Disputes
Anti-Terrorism/Money Laundering Update 
-   Further Amendments to Regulations under the PCMLTFA
-   US 2020 National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing
-   UN Working Paper on Impact of Counter-terrorism Legislation on Humanitarian Action
Essential Trademark Issues for Charity and Not-For-Profit Lawyers
Theresa L.M. Man Named to CRA Technical Issues Working Group