Canadian amateur athletic associations

The following links include the list of Canadian amateur athletic associations that are registered as qualified donees and information about their obligations under the Income Tax Act.

Further information on the measures applicable to registered Canadian amateur athletic associations (RCAAAs) as a result of Budget 2011 is being developed. Until this information becomes available, go to Enhancing the regulatory regime for registered Canadian amateur athletic associations

Application process

To be registered as a Canadian amateur athletic association, the association that is applying must be created and resident in Canada and it must have the promotion of amateur athletics in Canada nation-wide as its exclusive purpose and exclusive function. It must also devote all its resources to that purpose and function.

No part of the association's income can be payable to or available for the personal benefit of any proprietor, member, or shareholder of the association unless the proprietor, member, or shareholder was a club, society, or association whose primary purpose and function was promoting amateur athletics in Canada.

To apply, complete Form T1189, Application to Register a Canadian Amateur Athletic Association Under the Income Tax Act.


To qualify for registration, an association must operate for most or all of the following purposes (objects):

  • regulate a sport and the way it is played

  • promote a sport

  • oversee a structure of local clubs, and regional, provincial, and territorial bodies involved in a sport

  • deliver a training program that brings promising athletes from the grassroots level to national and international levels through various qualifying competitions

  • manage a national team to participate at international competitions

  • stage and sanction local, regional, provincial, territorial, and national competitions

  • act as a Canadian representative of an international federation controlling a sport

  • provide a training and certification program for coaches and referees

  • carry out fundraising activities and redistribute funds for local, regional, provincial, and territorial member organizations

Organizations that cannot be registered

The requirement that the association carry out its activities nation-wide means that certain clubs and organizations, such as the following, cannot be registered:

  • organizations of a local, regional, provincial, or territorial character

  • organizations whose primary purpose is to train and field a single team of athletes, regardless of the level of competitions

  • organizations that operate a local training or other facility that is not directed toward high-performance athletes, regardless of whether this facility is open to athletes from across Canada in theory or in practice

  • organizations that use sports as a means to achieve another more primary purpose

For more information, see Policy Statement CPS-011 - Registration of Canadian amateur athletic associations.

Issuing official donation receipts

RCAAAs can issue official donation receipts for income tax purposes for gifts they receive from corporations or individuals.

To do so, they must determine whether they have received a gift for the purposes of the Act and the eligible amount of the gift. For more information, go to What is a gift and see Pamphlet P113, Gifts and Income Tax.

Official donation receipts must be legible and cannot be readily altered.

Receipts for cash gifts must have the following:

  • a statement that it is an official receipt for income tax purposes
  • the name and address of the RCAAA as on file with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • a unique serial number
  • the registration number issued by the CRA
  • the location where the receipt was issued (city, town, municipality)
  • the date or year the gift was received
  • the date the receipt was issued
  • the full name, including middle initial, and address of the donor
  • the amount of the gift
  • the amount and description of any advantage received by the donor
  • the eligible amount of the gift
  • the signature of an individual authorized by the RCAAA to acknowledge gifts
  • the name and website address of the CRA

Receipts for non-cash gifts (gifts in kind) must also include:

  • the date the gift was received (if not already included)
  • a brief description of the gift received by the RCAAA
  • the name and address of the appraiser (if the gift was appraised)

The amount of a non-cash gift must be its fair market value at the time the gift was made. 

Books and records

To maintain their qualified donee status, RCAAAs must keep adequate books and records containing:

  • information to allow the CRA to verify revenues including all donations for which donors can claim tax credits or deductions
  • information to allow the CRA to confirm that they meet the requirements for registration as a Canadian amateur athletic association under the Income Tax Act
  • a duplicate of each receipt containing the information listed above for each donation received

Books and records must be kept at the Canadian address that the RCAAA has on file with the CRA and must be provided to the CRA on request. 

Books and records include, but are not limited to:

  • governing documents (incorporating documents, constitution, trust document)
  • bylaws
  • financial statements
  • copies of the annual information return (Form T2052)
  • written agreements
  • contracts
  • board and staff meeting minutes
  • annual reports
  • ledgers
  • bank statements
  • expense accounts
  • inventories
  • investment agreements
  • accountant's working papers
  • payroll records
  • promotional materials
  • fundraising materials

Books and records also include source documents, such as:

  • invoices
  • vouchers
  • formal contracts
  • work orders
  • delivery slips
  • purchase orders
  • bank deposit slips

For more information about maintaining proper books and records, including the types of records that should be kept, retention periods, and electronic records, go to Keeping Records.


The CRA now has additional tools to encourage compliance with the requirements of the Income Tax Act. Previously, if an RCAAA failed to comply, CRA’s only recourse was to revoke its registered status. As of January 1, 2012, the CRA can apply new intermediate sanctions that include financial penalties and the suspension of qualified donee status. This means an RCAAA could lose its right to issue official donation receipts and to receive gifts from registered charities for one year.

Sanctions are often the result of an audit. The CRA’s administrative practice is to provide written reasons for any proposed sanction or decision, and give organizations an opportunity to respond.

For a list of sanctions that apply to RCAAAs, go to Penalties and suspensions.


An RCAAA that objects to an assessment or a notice can appeal the CRA’s decision by filing a notice of objection within 90 days after the day on which the notice was mailed. The notice of objection must be in writing and provide the reasons for the objection and all the relevant facts.

For more information about this process, go to Objections and appeals.

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