Foreign charities that have received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada

As a result of changes to the Income Tax Act, a foreign charity (which includes both a charitable organization and a charitable foundation) that has received a gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada (the Government of Canada) can become a qualified donee if it meets certain criteria.

To become a qualified donee, a foreign charity must apply for registration and be included on a publicly available list maintained by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). A foreign charity that is registered as a qualified donee will have this status for a 24-month period chosen by the CRA that must include the date it received the gift from Her Majesty in right of Canada. While it is a qualified donee, the foreign charity can issue official donation receipts and registered charities can make gifts to it.

The following links include the list of foreign charities that are or were qualified donees, as well as a summary of the recent changes to the legislation related to the eligibility period and criteria for qualified donee status. It also provides information about how to apply for registration and the obligations of qualified donees under the Act. 

Issuing official donation receipts

A foreign charity that is a qualified donee can issue official donation receipts for income tax purposes.

Before issuing an official donation receipt, a qualified donee must determine whether it has 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 P113, Gifts and Income Tax.

The information on an official donation receipt must be legible and shown in a way that cannot be easily altered. Each receipt must include:

  • a statement that it is an official receipt for income tax purposes
  • the name and address of the qualified donee
  • a unique serial number
  • the location where the receipt was issued (for example, the city, town, municipality)
  • the date 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 in respect of the gift
  • the eligible amount of the gift
  • the signature of an individual authorized by the qualified donee to acknowledge gifts
  • the name and website address of the Canada Revenue Agency

If an official donation receipt is being issued for a non-cash gift, the amount of the gift must be its fair market value at the time the gift was made. The receipt must also include:

  • a brief description of the property received by the qualified donee
  • the name and address of the appraiser (if the property was appraised)

Books and records

To maintain its qualified donee status, a foreign charity has to keep adequate books and records containing:

  • information to allow the CRA to verify amounts that donors can claim for tax credits or deductions

  • information to allow the CRA to confirm that the foreign charity meets the requirements for qualified donee status

  • a duplicate of each official donation receipt issued, containing prescribed information for the gift received

A registered foreign charity is not required to keep its books and records in Canada, but must make them available in Canada at the CRA’s request.

Books and records include, but are not limited to:

  • financial statements supporting any official donation receipts that are issued

  • source documents such as cancelled cheques and bank deposit slips.

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

References

  • Income Tax Regulations, C.R.C. 1978, c. 945, ss. 3501(1.1): content of receipts

  • Income Tax Act: deduction/credit, 110.1(1), 118.1(1); definitions, 149.1(1) and 149.1(26); revocation, 149.1(4.3); public information, 149.1(15)(b); notice of revocation, 168(1); penalties, 188.2; objection, 168(4) and 189(8); and books and records, 230(2).

  • Federal Courts Act R.S.C., 1985, c. F-7: judicial review, s. 18.1

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