What you need to know to issue an official donation receipt

Is the donation a gift?

To issue an official donation receipt, a registered charity must determine whether or not the donation constitutes a gift (see What is a gift).

Who is the donor?

A registered charity can only issue an official donation receipt to the individual or organization that made the gift, and the name and address of the donor must appear on the receipt. A charity cannot issue an official donation receipt in the name of anyone but the true donor.

What is the eligible amount of the gift for receipting purposes?

Once a registered charity has determined that a gift has been made, it must determine the eligible amount of that gift for receipting purposes in order to issue an official donation receipt.

To determine the eligible amount of a gift, a charity must know:

  • The fair market value of the donated property
  • The fair market value of any advantage provided to the donor

Before the charity can issue an official donation receipt, any advantage must normally be deducted from the fair market value of the donation.

Determining fair market value of gifts in kind (non-cash gifts)

What is the date of donation?

The date of donation is the date the gift is actually received by the charity. However, when a charity receives a donation by mail, the Canada Revenue Agency considers the date of donation to be the date of the postmark on the envelope. The charity should keep the stamped envelope as part of its books and records.

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