Posts Tagged ‘CRA’

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: Harper Cuts Down Rights Like They’re Trees

May 17th, 2012 by Benefic

“On a day when many were celebrating the 30th anniversary of the signing of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Stephen Harper’s government was almost silent on the topic. The press highlighted the Charter’s global significance with headlines like “The Charter proves to be Canada’s gift to world”. Meanwhile, Ottawa diverted attention away from Canada’s signal achievement of enacting constitutional legislation to protect the rights and freedoms of individual Canadians by choosing the Charter’s 30th birthday as the date to announce legislation that will drastically reduce the number of regulatory agencies that exist to protect the environment in which individual Canadians enjoy their rights and freedoms.”

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Categories: Charity, Environment, Law, People, Politics

No Charity Pennies For Your Thoughts

April 18th, 2012 by Blake Bromley, Bio

The federal government’s March 29th budget announced that Canada will soon cease to produce and use pennies.  Since this announcement, Canadians have been rushing to implement Finance Minister Jim Flaherty solution to fund Canadian charities: “Free your pennies from their prisons at home and donate them to charity.”  Many lamented that you will no longer be offered “a penny for your thoughts.”

The fine print in the budget’s Notice of Ways and Means reveals that the government does not want those pennies to be spent on political activities.  Weeks before the budget was announced, Senator Doug Finley made the Conservative Party’s political agenda clear when he told the senate, “it should never be considered a charitable act to attack Canada’s oil sands.”  The government wants to block funding to environmental charities, particularly those that engage in political activities.  Charities play an important role in helping Canadians form value judgments about the merits and flaws of proposed social, economic and environmental plans and solutions. The proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act are intended to reduce the flow of pennies that support these important voices in public discourse.  Canadians need to recognize that the government is much more intent on extinguishing “thought” in the charitable sector than extinguishing the penny in everyday commerce.

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Categories: Charity, Environment, Law, Politics