Charities: CRA and COVID-19
The Charities call centre is open
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Charity registration applications
The CRA has implemented its business resumption plan and it continues to ramp up many of its operations, including the review of applications for registration as a charity.
Before applying, organizations seeking to provide pandemic relief programs should consider donating or offering services to existing registered charities that have the experience, resources, and infrastructure already in place to respond to the needs of Canadians. However, if an organization wants to apply for registered charity status in order to respond to the pandemic, we ask that these organizations apply online for registered charity status.
Many organizations that have already applied are requesting expedited review of their applications. We understand that many organizations are providing critical services within their communities at this time and are in need of access to funding and the ability to issue official donation receipts.
Although the CRA has resumed the review of digital and paper-based applications, due to continued precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CRA’s ability to meet published service standards in regard to paper-based applications has been impacted and delays can be expected. We recommend submitting your application and supporting documentation using our digital services to help reduce any delays. As we resume more activities over the next few months, our ability to meet service standards should improve.
T3010 filing deadline extended for charities
The filing deadline has been extended to December 31, 2020 for all charities with Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
If your charity has not already filed and is able to do so, we encourage you to complete and submit your information return as early as possible to avoid the rush and expected processing delays due to higher than usual volumes.
The easiest way for your charity to file its T3010, Registered Charity Information Return, is by using My Business Account for charities. Learn more about the benefits of using our digital services.
Resuming compliance activities
We recognize the significant role that charities play in the everyday lives of Canadians, but we also understand that many charities are also experiencing challenges as a result of the pandemic. As we resume our compliance activities, we will continue to focus on our people first approach in the work we do and adapt our methodologies and practices to ensure the health and safety of the public and our employees. As always, we will also continue to take an education-first approach to compliance where possible.
We are committed to maintaining the integrity of the charitable sector and we will continue to monitor and evaluate the landscape for new and emerging trends in non-compliance and how they can impact the sector at large.
The CRA's Charities Directorate will be contacting charities to:
- resume ongoing charity audits
- begin Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy post-payment audits
- Audits under this program began in the summer of 2020 and focus on CEWS applications made for claim periods one to four.
- begin new audits
The CRA will also resume processing revocations for failure to comply with the requirements of charity registration. This is a longstanding practice that helps to ensure charities meet their filing and reporting obligations. Where a charity has consistently failed to file and has not responded to notices from the CRA, their registration may be revoked. The revocations will relate to reporting periods that predate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your charity may receive a letter by registered mail explaining the reasons why we intend to revoke your charity's registration. The letter will also include your objection and appeal rights.
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