Unexpected Changes to Charity Registration Process

Authored by Philip Milley.

Today, June 20, 2017, Tony Manconi, Director General of the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) Charities Directorate, announced the introduction of three minor changes that will affect charity registration starting on July 1, 2017. The three minor changes include:

Draft Documents: The Charities Directorate will no longer review applications that are submitted with draft governing documents, such as bylaws. Applications submitted with draft governing documents will be considered incomplete and returned to the applicant.

Proposed Purposes: In circumstances where the purposes in the governing documents of an applicant no longer reflect its ongoing programs, proposed purposes can be submitted with the application, which should include the current certified governing documents.

Trust Provisions: CRA recommends that trust documents include provision to permit trustees to amend the purpose(s) of the trust in order to satisfy legislative and common law requirements for charitable registration.

The foregoing changes represent the Charities Directorate’s commitment to transparency in the registration process. These changes should help charities navigate the process in a manner that will reduce unexpected delays in registration. As stated, these changes will come into effect on July 1, 2017.

Noteworthy is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Every organization’s circumstances are unique. Before acting on the basis of information contained in this blog, readers should consult with a qualified lawyer for advice specific to their situation.