Registered charities are required to keep current the information recorded with the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”). Specifically, registered charities are required to update CRA with respect to changes made to any of the following:

  • legal name;
  • legal status;
  • purposes;
  • bylaws;
  • activities;
  • address, phone number or contact person;
  • authorized representative;
  • director, trustee, or like official information; and
  • amalgamations, mergers, and consolidations

Some changes require approval from CRA, such as:

  • changing a charity’s fiscal year end;
  • designation as an associated charity;
  • re-designation;
  • permission to accumulate property without penalization for incurring a spending shortfall; and
  • reduction in a charity’s disbursement quota

However, some changes simply require the charity to send a letter or form containing the updated information. Recently, the Charities Directorate (the “Directorate”) released a new form, to be submitted to the Directorate via mail or email, in order to update CRA on any changes to a charity’s director, trustee, or like official information. This form does not negate the charity’s responsibility to file a Form T1235, Directors/Trustees and Like Officials Worksheet along with its annual return each year, but should be used to update CRA with respect to any changes to the information contained in its Form T1235 between annual filings.

It is important for charities to update CRA with any changes regarding their directors, trustees or like officials, as CRA is only permitted to discuss a charity’s file with individuals listed on its record. Like officials includes any individuals who have governing responsibilities for a charity similar to those of a director or trustee (i.e., anyone having control and management of the administration of the charity).