Is Your Charity Paperless Yet?

While a totally paperless organization is likely out of reach, government agencies are increasingly encouraging charities to use digital services, forms and communication.

Corporations Canada will soon remove a number of PDF forms from its website. This coincides with new service fees for not-for-profit corporations and business corporations. The fee changes are meant to encourage use of digital service options, and many fees for online services will be reduced or eliminated. The following PDF forms will be taken down:

Form 4001 – Articles of Incorporation

Form 4003 – Change of Registered Office Address

Form 4004 – Articles of Amendment

Form 4006 – Changes Regarding Directors

Form 4022 – Annual Return

These changes take effect January 15.

Canada Revenue Agency is also making changes to its digital services in how representatives are authorized. Representatives can access a variety of services depending on the level of authorization the charity has consented to. See the list of services for registered charities (RR) here.  

There are two main changes. The first aligns the process for individual tax accounts with the existing process for business accounts, which is done online through Represent a Client. This service allows individuals and organizations, including charities, to permit, for example, an accountant, a lawyer, a payroll service, an employee, to have access to its tax information and services.

The second change streamlines existing paper applications for offline access to tax account information. The current T1013 (authorizing or cancelling a representative for individuals), RC59 (business consent for offline access) and NR95 (non-residence tax account) will be combined into a single form, AUT-01 Authorize a Representative for Access by Phone and Mail. If representatives submit an AUT-01 it will cancel existing online access (although this won’t apply to non-residents, since they do not have access to online services). T1 and T2 software can be used to electronically request online access and will prompt a new signature page. This page must be signed by the client (i.e. the charity) and retained by the representative for six years.

These changes take effect February 10.

If you haven’t already moved your charity away from paper and toward digital, a great starting pointing is Going Paperless: An Introduction to Digital Document Storage for Charities paired with this blog, which includes more recent information about cloud storage.

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.