By Anna Mathew
By the end of 2018 charities will finally be able to do most of their government submissions and communications online. The improvements are part of the Charities Modernization Project (CHAMP) which came out of funds earmarked in the 2014 Federal Budget for IT improvements at the CRA.
The 2014 Federal Budget provided the Directorate with $23 million to modernize its IT systems over a five year period. Improving these systems will allow charities to apply for registration and file their annual returns electronically, reducing their administrative burden.
As part of CHAMP, by the end of 2018:
- Form T2050, Application to Register a Charity under the Income Tax Act, will be replaced by a new online application for registration e-service.
- Registered charities will be able to file their annual returns online through the CRA's My Business Account.
- The Charities Listings will be improved to help Canadians make informed choices about charitable giving.
Drache Aptowitzer has a September 2017 article which discusses the implications and how charities should prepare for the change to online submissions and communications. They advise:
- Assigning a person inside the charity to be the main authorized user;
- Ensuring that person is subscribed the the Charities Directorate e-lists and visits the Charities Directorate website regularly for updates;
- Ensuring that person is aware of what information about charities is publicly available on the CRA website and understands the concept of 'garbage in garbage out' (if a charity gives bad quality data to the CRA, that bad quality data is what will be displayed in the publicly accessible CRA systems); and,
- Ensuring that person is aware that all documents filed by the charity with the CRA will be available to all authorized users, so the charity should assess who currently has authorization and maintain their policy and update their authorization lists regularly.
Visit the full Drache Aptowitzer article here.