Computer-generated receipts

Can a charity issue computer-generated receipts?

Computer-generated official donation receipts are acceptable as long as:

  • they have all the required information
  • they are clear and easy to read
  • the data on them cannot be altered and is protected from unauthorized access  

To protect computer-generated receipts from unauthorized access, registered charities should ensure that:

  • the computer system used to store the receipts is password protected and restricts entry to and modification of donor contribution records
  • donor records are stored on non-erasable media, such as CD-ROMs or printouts, with copies kept off-site for recovery purposes
  • hard copies of issued receipts can be printed on request

Can official donation receipts be sent by email?

Yes. However a registered charity should take the following precautions to protect its electronic receipts:

  • receipts should be in a read-only or non-editable format
  • receipts should be protected from hackers through the use of appropriate software
  • the document should be encrypted and signed with an electronic signature
  • the use of a secure electronic signature should be kept under the control of a responsible individual authorized by the charity
  • copies of email-issued receipts must be retained by the charity

Can receipts be issued with facsimile signatures?

A facsimile signature can be used under the following conditions:

  • all copies of receipts are distinctively imprinted (usually by a commercial printer) with the name, address, and registration number of the charity
  • receipts are serially numbered by a printing press or numbering machine
  • all unused receipt forms are kept at the registered charity's Canadian address (this address must be the address recorded with the Canada Revenue Agency)

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