Natasha Smith

Associée | Toronto

416.595.8552

Portrait de Natasha Smith

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Reminder to file your Federal Annual Return Filings

A lot has happened in the past year and it is easy to forget about maintaining corporate records.  This serves as a reminder that non-profits that are subject to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (the “CNCA”) are required to file an annual...

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Up the Creek without a Paddle: The Law Relating to Unincorporated Associations

Estates Trusts & Pensions Journal

Charities and non-profit organizations are often faced with the question of whether to incorporate. Some decide that it is not worth the trouble, while others put off the decision until the organization grows in size. There are also those that...

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CNCA annual return extension and annual meetings

Corporations Canada has issued the following two publications in light of the COVID-19 outbreak: Corporations Canada extends annual return deadlines to September 30 for federal corporations during the COVID-19 outbreak – issued April 1, 2020 Here is the link. Corporations...

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The COVID-19 Pandemic: Key considerations for charity and non-profit governance

The situation around COVID-19 is changing rapidly.  Schools nationwide have suspended classes, organizations are requiring staff to work at home remotely and governments across the country have required the cancellation of certain events.  “Social distancing” has quickly become the new...

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Governance considerations for unincorporated associations that will pay off in the long run

Charities and non-profits are often faced with the question of whether to incorporate. Our simple answer is this: prevention is the best medicine. While members may have the best of intentions, a lack of forethought can have catastrophic outcomes. Any...

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Tax compliance issues: what do condominium corporations need to know?

Condominium corporations are incorporated as corporations without share capital, whose members are those individuals that own units in the building. Condominium corporations generally qualify as tax exempt under the Income Tax Act (Canada) (“ITA”), provided they meet the requirements under...

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Major Developments In Political Activities Rules For Canadian Charities

The Exempt Organization Tax Review, January 2019, 31-38

Robert Hayhoe and Natasha Smith author an article discussing current law governing Canadian charities’ political activities. Read the article (by subscription only)

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CRA Releases Draft Guidance on New Rules Permitting Charities to Engage in ‘Public Policy Dialogue and Development Activities’

Over the past couple of years, we have been following the issues that have arisen with the provisions in the Income Tax Act (Canada) (“ITA”) concerning the rules that govern the form of advocacy or “political activities” that a charity...

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Forewarned is Forearmed: Questions You Should Ask Before Joining A Board of Directors

Joining the board of a charity or a non-profit organization (“NPO”) can be an enriching and mutually rewarding experience. Whether orientation of new board members is approached informally or formally, both the organization and the new director should be sure...

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CRA Announces New Business Numbers Not Required for Internal Divisions

We previously reported that, as part of the Canada Revenue Agency’s modernization project, CRA had planned to assign (and in fact began assigning) new business numbers to internal divisions of registered charities. CRA has now determined that it is not...

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All Canadian Registered Charities (and other Qualified Donees) Must Update Their Donation Receipts by March 31, 2019

Official donation receipts are required, under the regulations to the Income Tax Act (Canada), to contain certain information.  Where a charity (or other qualified donee) issues a donation receipt that does not contain the requisite information, it may be subject...

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The ONCA – Projected Proclamation Date Announced!

The Ontario Government has announced that it plans to proclaim the Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“ONCA”) into force in early 2020.  Once in force, the ONCA will replace the Corporations Act (Ontario) – the statute currently governing non-profits incorporated in...

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Cutting Red Tape Act Now in Force

As previously reported, Bill 154, The Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act, 2017 (the “Act”), proposed a number of changes to the Ontario Corporations Act (summarized in this article) as well as the Charities Accounting Act (summarized in this article).  Many of these changes were...

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CRA Provides Updates and Guidance for Internal Divisions

An internal division is a branch, section, parish, congregation or other division of a Canadian registered charity (the head body) that is permitted to receive and receipt donations on its own behalf.  Although it has its own charitable registration number,...

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Restricted Gifts – What Happens When the Condition of the Gift Can No Longer Be Fulfilled?

Donors frequently provide gifts to charities to be used for a specific purpose or toward specific programs/initiatives.  These gifts are commonly referred to as restricted gifts and, by accepting such gifts, charities are obliged to apply the gift pursuant to...

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Coming Together for the Greater Good – Practical Tips for Effecting a Successful Merger

There are over 86,000 registered charities in Canada operating in a rapidly changing sector.  Difficulty fundraising, the desire to expand services, donor demand, and contingent government funding are just some of the factors prompting Canadian charities to consider a merger....

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Last Chance to Transition Under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Corporations Canada) has announced that all federally incorporated non-profits are required to receive their certificates of continuance by July 31, 2017. Corporations that fail to transition by that date, including registered charities, will...

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CRA Publishes First Ever Report on the Charities Program 2015-2016 – Summary and Commentary

On December 30, 2016, the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) published its Report on the Charities Program 2015-2016 (the “Report”).  Referred to by Bob Hamilton, Commissioner of the CRA, as a “means for CRA to improve its own transparency” on the...

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CRA Releases New Administrative Form for Updating Director, Trustee and Like Official Information

Registered charities are required to keep current the information recorded with the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”). Specifically, registered charities are required to update CRA with respect to changes made to any of the following: legal name; legal status; purposes; bylaws;...

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Government of Canada and Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Unite for Impact Investing

This October, Canada’s Minister of Health, the Honourable Jane Philpott MP, along with Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (“HSFC”) and MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, announced Canada’s first ever federally-funded social impact bond (“SIB”). A SIB is an investment...

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ALERTE NOUVELLES – Lancement des consultations publiques sur les règles régissant les organismes de bienfaisance et les activités politiques – MANIFESTEZ-VOUS ET FAITES-VOUS ENTENDRE !

Comme nous l’avions souligné dans un précédent bulletin d’information (en anglais seulement), le gouvernement fédéral a annoncé dans son budget de 2016 son intention de mobiliser des groupes d’intervenants dans le but de préciser les règles régissant les activités politiques...

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CRA Revises Position on the Retention of Church Envelopes

As a condition of charitable registration, charities are required to keep proper books and records.  This requirement not only enables the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) to audit charities efficiently, but it also ensures that charities are able to justify and...

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An In-depth Look at Nova Scotia’s New Community Interest Companies

Earlier this month, Nova Scotia announced the coming into force of the long awaited Community Interest Companies Act (“CICA”).  This new law allows new and existing businesses incorporated under the Companies Act (Nova Scotia) (“CA”) to apply for designation as...

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Federal and Alberta Governments To Match Red Cross Donations Designated For Fort McMurray

The Alberta Provincial Government announced on May 4th that it will match donations made to The Canadian Red Cross Society (the « Red Cross ») that are designated to support the residents affected by the wildfires currently blazing in the Fort McMurray,...

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Claiming the Clergy Residence Deduction – CRA and the Courts Provide Further Guidance

Where an individual is determinably a member of the clergy, a regular minister of a religious denomination, or a member of a religious order, and is also employed in a qualifying function, he or she may take advantage of the...

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Going Forward: Annual Reporting after Continuation under the CNCA

It has been over a year since federally incorporated non-share capital corporations were required to continue under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”). The CNCA, which replaced the Canada Corporations Act, was an overhaul of the legislation governing federally incorporated non-share...

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New Developments Encourage Proactive Tax Planning

Your Guide to Charitable Giving & Estate Planning, November 2015

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Charity as a Vehicle for Social Enterprise

The Social Entrepreneur, November 26 2015

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Is Social Finance Well-Suited to Achieve Crime Prevention?

Employment and Social Development Canada has aptly summarized the complex topic of social finance as “an approach to managing money that delivers both a social benefit and an economic return for investors”. In recent years, significant attention has been paid...

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CRA Releases New T3010 – Registered Charity Information Return

The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) recently released an updated Form T3010 E(15) – Registered Charity Information Return.  This form must be used by registered charities with fiscal periods ending on or after January 1, 2014.  Aside from a few updated...

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Revenu Québec Releases New Information Return Form

Revenu Québec (“RQ”) recently released an updated Information Return form to be completed by registered charities, museums, cultural or communications organizations, and recognized political organizations that carry on activities in Québec. These organizations must annually file with RQ the Information...

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Court Confirms that Religious Charities Must Actively Promote a Religion

Earlier this month, the Federal Court of Appeal was asked to consider whether the Minister of National Revenue (the “Minister”) had erred in confirming the decision of the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) to deny the Humanics Institute’s application for charitable...

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2014 Primer for Donors

Taxes and Wealth Management, Issue 7-5, November 2014

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CRA Continues to Watch Taxpayers Who Participate in Tax Shelters

The CRA recently revoked the charitable registration of the Skyway Foundation of Canada (“Skyway”), a charity based in Bolton, Ontario, for issuing receipts in 2008 totalling approximately $2.6 million for donations that did not legally qualify as charitable gifts.  The...

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Proposed Changes to Charitable Gifts by Will

Taxes and Wealth Management, Issue 7-4, October 2014

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Canada weighs in on Social Impact Investing: Highlights from the Report of the National Advisory Committee

A major outcome of the 2013 G8 summit was the launch of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce (the “Taskforce”).  Comprised of over 200 people from the G8’s member countries, the Taskforce was charged with the daunting task of taking a...

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CRTC Releases Guidance on CASL’s Application to Registered Charities

Earlier this month, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) published a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in respect of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).  Many of CASL’s “anti-spam” provisions came into force on July 1, 2014.  Registered charities will...

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Court Decision Offers Reminder of Compliance Issues

A recent decision of the Tax Court of Canada serves as an important reminder to taxpayers and charities of several fundamental issues when it comes to making and receipting donations.  At issue in Hassan v. R. was the appellant’s claim...

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“Primary Purpose of Raising Funds” under CASL – What does it mean?

Since the CASL Regulations were released in December 2013, there has been considerable debate and uncertainty as to the precise scope of the exemption from the consent and content requirements under CASL for electronic messages sent by or on behalf...

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Tax Court of Canada Considers Treatment of Inflated Receipts

A recent decision of the Tax Court of Canada addressed the treatment of donors claiming receipts that were inflated in excess of the actual donation.  Among other things, the Court made some interesting comments on the meaning of “gift” and...

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Charities and NPOs exempt from FATCA

In March 2010, the United States enacted the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires non-U.S. financial institutions to report to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the details of “U.S. Reportable Accounts” held by U.S. taxpayers. ...

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CRA Reports on its Non-Profit Organization Risk Identification Project

Ontario Bar Association's Charities and Not-for-Profit Law Section Newsletter, May 2014

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CRA Updates Policy on Charitable Provision of Housing

Earlier this year, CRA released an updated Guidance (CG-022) on Housing and Charitable Registration.  The new Guidance replaces CRA’s former policy statement on the subject, and sets out CRA’s position on the tax rules surrounding the provision of housing that...

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CRA Reports on its Non-Profit Organization Risk Identification Project

On February 17, 2014, CRA released a report on its Non Profit Organization Risk Identification Project (NPORIP).  The report was the result of a three-year review process in which CRA reviewed the tax compliance of a range of non-profit organizations (NPOs) claiming...

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Government sues charity for repayment of funds advanced under contribution agreement

A recently-initiated lawsuit by the federal government against a charity serves as a reminder to all charities of the importance of accountability and record-keeping whenever receiving government funding. Canadian registered charities often apply to government agencies for funding under various...

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Carson v. The Queen – Court confirms circumstances for gifting a right to use property

IssueUnder the Income Tax Act (Act), where a transfer of property constitutes a gift for tax purposes, the recipient charity can issue a donation receipt to the donor in an amount equal to the fair market value of the property at...

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Social Media and Political Activities

Statistics show that Canadians are one of the most regular users of social media, with two out of every three Canadians using some form of social media.  Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin hold the top three spots for Canadian social networking, with over...

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CRA Comments on Tax Compliance Issues Related to Condominium Corporations

We have commented in previous issues of this Newsletter on the CRA’s interpretation of the requirements for tax exempt status as a non-profit organization (NPO) under paragraph 149(1)(l) of the Income Tax Act.  In a recent technical interpretation, CRA provided...

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