Tax and charities: Opportunity for input

CPAs who volunteer or work with Canadian charities can encounter complex tax issues that are unique to the sector. Now CPAs have a new route for raising these issues with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Through committees set up under Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)’s collaboration agreement with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) are helping the CRA identify solutions to persistent, systemic problems. From services and compliance to commodity taxes and scientific research and experimental development and more, CPAs are seeing the CRA make real progress in improving its policies and procedures across the agency.

Now, I’m happy to tell you that CPAs have an added forum for raising issues and proposing ideas specific to the charitable sector.

Betty Thompson, FCPA, FCGA, has been appointed as a member of the Technical Issues Working Group of the CRA’s Charities Directorate. The group’s purpose is to facilitate discussions between the CRA and the charitable sector on technical and policy issues related to registered charities and Canada’s tax laws. Currently, the group is tackling issues related to modernizing the CRA’s charities program (e.g., e-filing options) and the measures for charities announced in recent federal budgets.

A HISTORY OF GIVING BACK

Betty is the managing partner of Calvista LLP and engagement partner for many of the firm’s not-for-profit clients. She has a long history of giving her time and expertise to support a variety of Canadian charities. Some of the senior volunteer roles she has filled include chair of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations and Persons with Developmental Disabilities Provincial Board; vice chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and Aerospace Museum Association of Calgary; and member of the boards of CPA Assist (Alberta) and Calgary Housing Company (City of Calgary). Her work has garnered a number of honours, including a Queen’s Jubilee Medal for her community service.

Betty sees her position on the working group as a chance to further enrich CPAs’ contribution to the growth and vitality of the charitable sector. With input from CPAs who volunteer and work in this sector, Betty can help raise emerging issues and find ways to resolve problems within the tax system that affect Canadian charities, freeing more of their time to focus on their important work.

KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING

I want to hear from you. How can Canada’s tax system be enhanced to improve services and reduce red tape for Canadian charities? You can keep the conversation going by posting a comment below.

CPA Canada’s Tax Blog is designed to create an exchange of ideas on tax policy and practice issues, and their impact on those who practise tax. Your comments can provide helpful input into the public interest advocacy positions developed by CPA Canada.

About the Author

Gabe Hayos, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D

Vice-president, Taxation, CPA Canada

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