Working with the CRA

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has regulatory responsibilities for charities in Canada through its enforcement of the charity-related provisions of the Income Tax Act. As such, every registered charity in Canada has to work with the CRA.

Your charity will likely experience a variety of changes through the years. Here's what you need to notify the CRA about and how to do so.

This section provides an overview of the possible ways a charity may incur penalties or sanctions from the CRA, and how they will work with you to resolve any issues. 

Additional resources available from the CRA

In addition to its enforcement responsibilities, the CRA helps educate charities about their regulatory responsibilities. It also works to encourage and promote voluntary compliance without resorting to penalties and other sanctions. The CRA supports a number of services and information sources – all free – to help charities. These are:

  • Information for donors. The CRA provides information directed specifically to Canadians who may be donating or considering donating to charity. This information explains the tax and other benefits of donating to charity and offers tips for choosing a charity to support. You may want to provide some of this information to your donors. 
  • CRA’s Web site has comprehensive and authoritative information about charities’ responsibilities
  • CRA Helpline. You can reach a CRA representative toll-free to discuss matters without identifying yourself. 
  • Charity Information Sessions. These webinars of CRA information sessions provide information about a variety of topics for charities and usually include an update about recent or upcoming regulation changes or other matters that charities should know about.
  • Forms and publications. Most CRA forms and publications related to charities are available online. 
  • CRA’s mailing list. Subscribe to the free “Charities and Giving – What’s New” mailing list, which is distributed by e-mail and RSS feed. 

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