Today’s world is unquestionably moving online. This reality has changed the way Canada’s not-for-profits and charities operate. The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) has been evolving with this digital trend by providing the My Business Account secure online portal (“MyBA”). MyBA allows corporations and their authorized representatives to easily, quickly, and securely make changes to their CRA program accounts online, at their convenience, 7 days a week, 21 hours a day (the services are not available between 3am and 6am eastern time). Many people can benefit from this service, including, but not limited to, professional service providers.
Using MyBA, organizations are able to complete the following tasks online:
- apply to become a registered charity or a registered Canadian amateur athletic association;
- submit a complete Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return (“T3010”) and required documentation, such as financial statements; and
- update information about their organization, upload supporting documents, and correspond with the Charities Directorate.
Charities and other corporations are able to use MyBA to make changes to their organization’s address, list of directors, fiscal period-end, designation, purposes, activities and more. MyBA aims to reduce overall processing times, help organizations manage their supporting documents, and update important organization information in a user-friendly manner.
CRA has set out a list of steps to access MyBA for charities. To use these services, your organization will need a business number (“BN”) and an associated charity account (“RR”), which will be the corporation’s charity account number. If your organization does not already have a BN or RR, these can be accessed through CRA’s Business Registration Online. However, it is important to note that a BN and RR account do not automatically make your organization a registered charity. Charitable registration requires submitting a charitable registration application and being approved by CRA. After an organization has both a BN and RR, the organization and their authorized representatives can begin to use online services through MyBA.
Some organizations have found MyBA and the required registration process to be daunting, time-consuming, and frustrating. We find that the registration process frequently requires some troubleshooting. For example, a common roadblock our clients come across when attempting to register for MyBA is an error message indicating that a director of the charity who is trying to gain access is not listed either as a “primary contact” or “owner” on the account. This may occur if there is a slight variation in the name CRA has on file for that individual and how their name is listed as a director of the charity. Unfortunately, the only way to get past this hurdle is to call CRA and speak to an agent.
CRA has acknowledged some of the challenges faced by MyBA users and is frequently making improvements to MyBA, as well as providing answers to common questions about this service. If you have any difficulty with managing the online process, you can contact the Charities Directorate for assistance by phone at 1-800-267-2384. You can alternatively still submit a copy of the documentation by mail or fax if the online registration procedure becomes too complicated.
Although sometimes it is not the smoothest, the MyBA registration process is worthwhile. There are many advantages to filing with CRA online. For example, multiple individuals, such as an organization’s authorized representative, can log into MyBA to complete various parts of the application/ form as needed. The application/ form can also be saved and continued at any time, to allow review and changes to be made. Further, the date the application/ form is submitted is the date that CRA receives it; there are no more postmarks.
Applying for Charitable Registration
As noted above, MyBA can be used to submit an application to become a registered charity under the Income Tax Act (Canada). The online form will take you through the complete application process. You will be required to upload all supporting documentation, such as governing documents, financial statements and agreements. After submitting the application for charitable registration, you will be able to track the status of the application through MyBA.
CRA no longer accepts the previous application for charitable registration form, the T2050. After September 19, 2019, applicants have been required to submit the new form, the T1789. MyBA provides only the T1789 for users who have decided to apply for charitable registration, eliminating the chance of mistakenly using the T2050.
Filing the T3010
A new version of the T3010 (called version 24) will be released in January 2024. Charities with fiscal periods ending on or after December 31, 2023 must use version 24. Charities with fiscal periods ending on or before December 30, 2023 should file their T3010 using version 23. Organizations that complete this filing using MyBA are automatically presented with the correct version of this return and will not risk using an outdated version of the form. This is one of the many advantages of using MyBA as opposed to paper forms.
It is critical that organizations choosing to submit a paper copy confirm that they are using the correct version of the T3010. CRA has stated that they will not accept outdated versions of this form. If a charity does not file a complete return within six months of the end of its fiscal year, CRA will start the process to revoke the organization’s registered charitable status.
MyBA provides a convenient and quick way for organizations, charities and their authorized representatives to make changes to their CRA program accounts at their convenience. CRA is strongly encouraging organizations to file online using MyBA. We highly recommend that organizations consider registering to gain access to MyBA to capitalize on the benefits previously mentioned. If you require assistance with this process, we encourage you to contact CRA directly.