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CRA Cracking Down on Compliance, Enforcement of Form T3010A

(Dec. 3, 2007) The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has indicated it will be cracking down on registered charities that either file their Forms T3010A late or not at all; at the same time, it also is providing increased guidance on how organizations can comply with these requirements.

In conjunction with the Centre for Voluntary Sector Research and Development (CVSRD) and the Canadian Federation of Voluntary Sector Networks, the CRA has launched a new program called The Charities File designed to increase awareness and capacity of registered charities to file complete and accurate Forms T3010A, the annual registered charities information return.

The CRA reports that more than 2,500 of the more than 80,000 registered charities in Canada had their charitable status revoked in 2006 as a result of not filing their Forms T3010A. In addition, numerous other forms contained significant errors. Once charitable status has been revoked, a charity loses the right to issue tax receipts, and starting over to become registered is a lengthy and difficult process. 

To help charities understand their responsibilities related to filing the Form T3010A, the CRA has developed two training modules that are now being offered to charities:

1. Ten Practices to Manage Your Charitable Status: An overview of the key administrative practices and systems that charities need to comply with obligations under the Canada Income Tax Act

2. Training and Resources to Complete the T3010A: A step-by-step introduction to completing the Registered Charity’s Information Return Package

The training modules, which include workbooks, PowerPoint slides, quizzes and feedback forms, are available on The Charities File website, which also includes a list of frequently asked questions about the Form T3010A and online forums for additional discussion.

In addition, the project is planning up to 200 training events between 2007 and 2009 across Canada. Information on scheduled events also can be found on the website.

“Charities need to understand that completing an accurate and timely Form T3010A is a critical part of our accountability to the public and the government,” said Susan Mullin, CFRE, vice president, development, for the York University Foundation in Toronto, and chair of the Canadian Government Relations Committee. “Donors and advisors are beginning to use the T3010A as a way of checking out charities they are considering supporting – this makes it doubly important to complete it carefully. We’re pleased to help the Canada Revenue Agency spread the word about this important initiative and hope that organizations will take advantage of the very helpful guidance materials that the agency has created.”

Mullinl also reminded fundraisers to work with colleagues in their accounting, finance or other departments regarding timely and accurate filing of the Form T3010A. "If we don't ensure that the form is submitted on time, then our own development and cultivation work might all be for naught."

Representatives of AFP attended a meeting with the CRA in October to discuss Form T3010A compliance and how AFP can help educate charities about the issue.

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