Last updated: March 24, 2014
The 2014 federal budget didn’t create any new requirements or work for our churches. It did offer a helpful simplification of how estate gifts will be valued in future. It also announced increased funding for audit and compliance activity.
Remember that in a past budget, the CRA will require increased due diligence by charity boards in selecting senior staff, board members, and trustees to ensure “ineligible individuals” are screened out—basically, people with a record of financial dishonesty. Background checks are not required per se, but a more thorough screening process is required. One option may be to have board members sign a declaration of eligibility.
A revised Registered Charity Information Return was announced in 2012 and should be used by charities with fiscal periods ending in 2013. The primary change is the addition of a section for reporting any political activity (schedule 7).
The federal government periodically announces a call for proposals that may be of interest to ministries considering accessibility projects. Full details are available at Employment and Social Development Canada. Small projects that create or enhance accessibility for people with disabilities may receive up to $50,000 from the federal government. At least 25 percent of the total project costs must come from other, non-federal government sources.
Since the window for applying is often quite short, we recommend you put yourself on the notification list as offered on the government webpage.
Recorded webinars can be viewed any time. However, we will continue to offer national webinars for topics of seasonal interest. To watch previously recorded webinars, visit our Congregational Finance video album on Vimeo.
I am hearing from across the country that CRA auditors are getting more concerned with cash payments being given to individuals even for modest sums. Technically a charity shouldn't give money to a non-charity (without demonstrating direction and control of what happens to the money). Modest payments from benevolent funds have not been an issue until now. It is always a good idea to purchase vouchers, or pay actual bills, when administering a benevolent fund.
Learn about the administration of the Clergy Residence Deduction to comply with Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Québec guidelines.
For more information
Mission through Finance
Tel: 416-231-5931 ext. 4022
Toll-free: 1-800-268-3781 ext. 4022
E-mail: emathies [at] united-church [dot] ca (Erik Mathiesen)
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