Bringing charities back into compliance

The Charities Directorate monitors Canadian registered charities to ensure they comply with the requirements of the Income Tax Act and the common law rules relating to charities.

When we discover non-compliance issues including late-filed returns, inaccurate or incomplete returns, official donation receipts that are not issued in accordance with the Act, or disbursement quota shortfalls, we use a series of progressive compliance measures. In less serious cases we use education letters or compliance agreements. In more serious cases we impose monetary penalties, suspend tax-receipting privileges, or, as a last resort, revoke registered status.

Experience shows us that most non-compliance by registered charities is unintentional, accidental, and often of low material consequence. In these cases, we use education letters and compliance agreements to help get the charity back on track. Through this approach, charities are given the opportunity to bring themselves back into compliance without imposing penalties or sanctions. However, there are some non-compliance issues, such as involvement in tax shelters or issuing false receipts, that are too serious to enable a charity to maintain its registered status.

We encourage charities to contact us to correct any errors they might have made in the past. Our objective is to work with charities to resolve difficulties and help them get back on track. For more information, go to Guidelines for applying sanctions.

Approaching the Directorate

To begin discussions with the Directorate, registered charities should generally contact us in writing and provide the following information:

The written material must be as complete as possible so that we can evaluate the non-compliance, and determine how to proceed. Once the material has been received and reviewed, an officer within the Directorate will contact the charity and may request additional information or documentation.

We understand that some charities may be apprehensive to provide us with information on their non-compliance. If so, a charity can contact us in writing on a no-name basis. Charities can also contact us by telephone or TTY service for persons with a hearing or speech impairment.

Correcting non-compliance

When registered charities provide information about non-compliance to the Directorate, they may be required to:

Contact information

To provide information about non-compliance to the Directorate, contact us:

By mail:
Director
Compliance Division
Charities Directorate
Canada Revenue Agency
320 Queen Street
Ottawa ON  K1A 0L5

By telephone:
1-800-267-2384

By TTY service for persons with a hearing or speech impairment:
1-800-665-0354

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