Should I apply for registration?

The decision to register a charity is an important one. Registration as a charity gives an organization special tax privileges. A registered charity does not have to pay income tax and can issue tax receipts to donors. Canadians donate generously every year to charities, and the Government of Canada wants to assure them that only qualifying organizations are registered and are given these privileges.    

When making a decision about whether or not to register as a charity, an organization should be aware of the types of activities that would prevent it from being registered as a charity. For more information, go to Factors that will prevent an organization from being registered as a charity.

After a charity is registered, it will have to meet many obligations each year. A registered charity must also meet several other obligations with different levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal), including maintaining its status as a legal entity.

If a registered charity does not meet its obligations, it could face serious consequences such as the loss of its charitable registration.

Before you apply for registration, think about these options:

  • you can volunteer with or raise funds for a registered charity doing the same work you want to do

  • you can donate to a registered charity that has charitable activities you want to support

  • you can become a board member of an existing registered charity that is carrying out charitable work you are interested in

If you still want to apply, find out if registration is right for you.

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