ARCHIVED - Budget 2014 - Investing in Information Technology (IT) for Charities

IT Modernization for Charities

To reduce the administrative burden on charities, the budget proposes funding to allow the CRA to modernize its IT systems so that it can provide new electronic service options for charities. These services will allow charities to devote more time and resources to their charitable programs. The redesign will also allow the CRA to operate more efficiently and to meet the information needs of the charitable sector and the public.

Public Awareness - Giving Trends and Characteristics in Canada

The budget also supports the CRA's plans to provide improved access, through its website, to data on charitable giving trends and characteristics in Canada.

How will the administrative burden on charities be reduced?

The budget proposes that the CRA receive funding over a five-year period, so that CRA's Charities IT systems can be redesigned to allow charities to apply for registration and file their annual information returns online. Unlike most other taxpayers, currently charities can only print and mail in their information returns.

How much will the Government of Canada invest in the IT modernization?

The budget proposes an overall investment of $23 million over a five-year period, beginning in the 2014-2015 fiscal period.

What are the reasons for this IT modernization initiative?

This initiative will provide registered charities with the same opportunities as other taxpayers to file their annual returns electronically with the CRA. It will also give applicants for charitable registration the ability to apply online. These services will make it easier to complete returns and allow charities to more easily meet their filing obligations.

How will public awareness of the charitable sector be enhanced?

The budget supports the CRA's plans to provide improved access, through its website, to data on charitable giving trends and characteristics in Canada.

What are the reasons to enhance public awareness of the charitable sector?

Making data on charitable giving trends more readily accessible will enhance understanding of the charitable sector in Canada and responds to a recommendation from the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance's report on the tax incentive for charitable giving in Canada. To that end, CRA will explore ways of consolidating information about giving in one area.

Where can I get more information about the IT Modernization for Charities and the Public Awareness initiatives?

The CRA is committed to providing taxpayers with up-to-date information. The CRA encourages taxpayers to check its Web pages often. All new forms, policies, and guidelines will be posted as they become available.

In the meantime, please consult the Department of Finance Canada's Budget 2014 documents for details.

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