As the eleventh hour for continuing under the new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act ("CNCA") quickly approaches, the Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA") has stepped up its efforts to remind those charities that may be lagging behind – or not! – to continue by the October 17, 2014 deadline.
Many organizations, including those that have already continued and those newly incorporated under the CNCA, have reported receiving a letter from the CRA with the subject line "Keeping your status as a registered charity". Among other things, the letter indicates that the recipient charity is "currently incorporated under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act(CCA)" and that registered charities established under the CCA need to apply for a certificate of continuance with Corporations Canada by the October 17, 2014 deadline. The letter goes on to provide that registered charities established under the CCA that do not continue under the CNCA may have their corporate status dissolved, which may result in revocation of the charity's registration with the CRA.
While these letter will certainly be a helpful reminder to those charities that have not yet continued under the CNCA and were not aware of the requirement to do so, for charities that have already continued, or who have always been incorporated under the CNCA, the letters may be surprising, confusing and/or a cause of concern. Our recent discussion with the Charities Directorate indicates that the letters are being generated automatically for any registered charity that has been incorporated federally – whether that be under the CCA or the CNCA. As such, charities that have already continued or that are incorporated under the CNCA do not need to take any additional action because of the letter, though remember that charities that have continued under the CNCA are required to advise the CRA that the continuance process has been completed and file certain documents with the CRA evidencing that. For further information on the CRA's reporting and filing process in this regard, you can check out the CRA's CNCA transition guide, available at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/prtng/nfpc/menu-eng.html.