What role does the federal government play in the regulation of charities?

At the federal level, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers a system to register charities under the Income Tax Act. As the regulator of charities, the CRA's responsibilities include:

  • processing applications for registration;
  • offering technical advice on operating a charity;
  • handling audit and compliance activities; and
  • providing general information to the public.

Registration provides charities with exemption from income tax. Registration also authorizes charities to issue official donation receipts for income tax purposes, meaning that donors can claim gifts made to registered charities to reduce their income tax.

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