This series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) is published by Charity Central, a Canada-wide charity law education initiative of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta. The initiative supports Canadian charities with understanding and complying with the requirements of the Income Tax Act in the areas of receipting, fundraising, books and records, and accountability and transparency practices.
Select your area of interest from the following list.
(Clicking the topic links will take you to the Charity Central website.)
FAQs in this section answer questions on general issues relating to registered charities including:
- the difference between a non-profit and a registered charity;
- income tax returns for non-profits and charities;
- becoming a registered charity with status under the Income Tax Act;
- information for federally incorporated charities on requirements for transitioning to the new Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act;
- Disbursement quotas (minimum amount a registered charity is required to spend each year on its own charitable activities); and
- information relevant to faith-based charities.
Read this series of FAQs to learn what a charity is required to do to keep proper books and records. Questions focus on general requirements such as format (print and/or electronic), number of copies, location and retention, as well as questions about what Canada Revenue Agency means when it says that charities must keep “adequate books and records”.
This section deals with issuing proper tax donation receipts. Questions address:
- the definition of a gift;
- the correct format and required information that must be included on official tax donation receipts;
- issues relating to improper receipting and determining eligible amounts; and
- issuing receipts in specific situations including a series on determining “who is the donor?”
This section outlines the legal requirements relating to fundraising for all Canadian charities registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (Guidance on Fundraising by Registered Charities – CPS – 028). The FAQs cover key information such as:
- what fundraising activities are illegal or prohibited;
- how the cost of fundraising should be dealt with;
- issues related to personal and information privacy; and
- what Alberta laws govern fundraising
In this section of the Charity Central website, entitled Road to Accountability, you will find plain language resource materials and learning opportunities on accountability and transparency practices for registered charities and not-for-profit organizations.
- Accountability Self-Assessment for Registered Charities and Non-Profits
A three part pack for registered charities to assess their current accountability and transparency practices, to access more information and to develop an action plan to move closer to being accountable.
- Road to Accountability Handbook
Introduces the concept of accountability and transparency, shares some good accountability and transparency practices.
For more resources on accountability and transparency visit us at Charity Central – Road to Accountability.
Charity Central gratefully acknowledges the support of the Muttart Foundation.