Posts by admin

Blake on the Huffington Post: CRA “Gotcha” Audits Need to Stop

October 22nd, 2014 by admin

In a recent piece I pointed out that when the Minister of National Revenue issues a Notice of Intention to Revoke, a charity must appeal to the same Minister who issued the Notice. There is no guarantee of an independent appeal process. The Appeals Branch of CRA’s Tax and Charities Appeals Directorate does not even go through the motions of opening a new file. The file number assigned by the Charities Directorate auditor remains the designation of the file throughout the so-called appeal process.

This ineffective appeal process becomes even more frustrating when one recognizes that revocation frequently proceeds on insignificant administrative issues rather than on substantive issues such as political activities. When government or industry officials want a charity closed down, they have little interest in the way they achieve revocation. All they care about is whether, at the end of the audit, they can raise their martini glasses and say GOTCHA.

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Categories: Audits, CRA, Charity, Compliance, Politics

Blake on the Huffington Post: We Don’t Want No Foreign Funding

April 10th, 2012 by admin

“Press reports have expressed outrage over the fact that, through measures like those found in the budget, the federal government is seeking to block funding to environmental charities and intimidate them into silence on controversial issues in Canada. CRA will receive an additional $8 million to carry out new audits to enforce these provisions.

On April 2, the Director General of Charities Directorate published a message making it clear that these provisions do not apply only to environmental charities. She wrote: “As the rules relating to political activity apply to all registered charities, the CRA’s educational and compliance efforts in this regard will extend to the charitable sector as a whole.”

In my opinion, the transparency requirements obligating charities to disclose funding from foreign sources will have a much greater impact on Muslim and other religious charities than on environmental charities. Though the initial focus may be on environmental funding, there is little doubt that in due course the government’s attention will move to transparency with regard to foreign money coming into Canadian mosques and Muslim humanitarian charities.”

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Categories: Charity, Politics, Religion

Blake on the Huffington Post: New Counter-Terrorism Strategy Overlooks Most Obvious Breeding Ground

February 20th, 2012 by admin

“What I found most intriguing about Canada’s new Counter-Terrorism Strategy is that it did not once refer to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Nor is CRA referred to in the strategy’s “Annex A: Roles and Responsibilities Relating to Counter-terrorism” which lists 20 agencies that play a role in counter-terrorism. CRA is absent from the document entirely.

This omission is striking because CRA is well-positioned to be on the frontlines of the Canadian counter-terrorism movement.”

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Categories: Charity, People, Politics, Religion, Terrorism