Gift certificates or gift cards

For the purposes of this webpage, "gift certificate" and "gift card" are collectively referred to as "gift certificates".

Can a registered charity issue official donation receipts for gift certificates?

This depends on whether or not the donor is the issuer of the gift certificate. An issuer is the person (individual, retailer, or business) that creates the gift certificate. A gift certificate purchased from the issuer and then donated to a registered charity is considered property and may be receipted for its eligible amount. However, a gift certificate donated to a registered charity by the issuer is not considered property, but rather a promise, and may only be receipted under specific circumstances as explained in Guidance CG-007, Donation of gift certificates or gift cards.

Registered charities can issue an official donation receipt when:

  • The donor is not the issuer and has purchased or acquired the gift certificate.
  • The donor is the issuer and the criteria for issuing a receipt as described in the guidance below has been met.
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