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In November of 2013, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Charities Directorate provided new resources on the process for updating and changing information relating to a charity. This serves as an important reminder to charities that keeping their records up to date with government regulators, such as CRA or their applicable corporate registry, is very important. Not only is it a legal requirement, it is necessary in order to ensure that the charity receives any relevant government notices – some of which may require immediate action on the part of the organization.
The Charities Directorate can only discuss a charity’s file with the individuals who are listed on the file as representing the charity. It is, therefore, important for the charity to have the most recent and accurate information available on file with the CRA for directors, trustees and other officials. This information can be submitted with the charity’s annual registered charity information return. In addition, written requests to add directors, trustees or other officials can be made during the fiscal period. The CRA should also be informed in writing if a director, trustee or official no longer represents the charity. The Charities Directorate also requires a consent form from a charity authorizing a representative to communicate with the CRA for charity-related matters.
Incorporated charities are also required to maintain up to date records with their corporate registry. This is done by filing accurate annual corporate returns each year, and by filing appropriate notices of change when necessary.
Keeping your information up to date is particularly important for organizations that are federally incorporated and filing articles of continuance with Industry Canada pursuant to the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. Any notices related to continuances will be sent to the corporation based on the address that is on file. If that information is not up to date, then organizations risk missing important information from Industry Canada.