The CRA announced tonight that registered charities filing deadline for the T3010 that were or will be due from March 18, 2020 till December 31, 2020, will only be due on December 31, 2020. This will be a welcome relief for many registered charities in Canada. As well this will be a relief to many accountants who need to do audits of charities that would have to be completed prior to the completion of the financial statements and filing of the T3010. While this does not solve the issue of the AGM deadlines that we will discuss in another post, it will reduce some of the stress on registered charities who may not even have access to their offices because they are working from home etc.
Keep in mind a number of different points:
- This will not assist a group that was supposed to file for example at the end of February their T3010. For them see my earlier article With COVID-19 can you file your T3010 Registered Charity Information Return on time? and try to file the T3010 as soon as you can.
- There are some downsides of this very length reprieve. Don’t leave things till the last minute – if COVID-19 is “over” by May or June try to get your T3010s in by September or October – there are a number of problems with groups just waiting till the end of December to file their T3010 including:
- that this will delay information on charities that the public should see – for example, 2019 information will be available in 2021.
- the longer you wait to complete the T3010 the harder it may become to pull the information together with staff turnover etc. Filing an inaccurate T3010 is grounds for sanctions and revocation.
- the rush to file T3010s is normally at the end of June and that results in a 4-6 month delay for T3010 filed at the end of June. If everyone is waiting till December to pull them together it is probably going to result in a 4-6 month delay for those forms to be inputted on the CRA’s Charities Listing as many charities will do it by paper. Therefore, 2019 T3010 information will only be available in mid-2021.
- a further problem with leaving it later than it needs is you may not be able to get the assistance of professional advisors if everyone is leaving it to the same late time.
- also if you are only going to work on your financial statements and T3010s at the end of this year – you will then be working on the next financial statements and T3010s a few months later. That is a lot of financial statements and T3010s to be working on.
Many charities are facing huge issues right now and this extension of the T3010 deadline will allow them to focus on the charitable work they will need to do, not to mention fundraising to pay for those charitable activities.
CRA also announced that “The Charities Directorate has suspended all operations until further notice, which includes our call centre as well as all registration and audit activities.”
This delay will also give charities an opportunity to check out the new CRA CHAMP online system. While you don’t need to use the online system to file your T3010 there are many advantages of doing so. With CHAMP you can make many changes to the information that CRA has on your charity including the following:
With the Charities Directorate essentially closed till April 6 (and perhaps longer), and many charities working out of home offices, if you have time to get on the CHAMP system it could assist in changes later.
The telephone lines dealing with CHAMP are still operational because they are not run by the Charities Directorate but instead the regular CRA.
Here is the full press release from the Charities Directorate:
Charities and giving – What’s new
Recent news and updates
As part of government actions taken in dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charities Directorate is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020, for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020. This will allow charities more time to complete and submit their T3010, recognizing that charities will be focused on deploying their resources to address the effects of the COVID-19 virus situation.
The Charities Directorate has suspended all operations until further notice, which includes our call centre as well as all registration and audit activities. For information on operating a charity, you are encouraged to review the Charities and Giving webpages.
Charities are also encouraged to register for CRA’s secure online services. Through My Business Account, you and your representatives can access the new digital services for charities, which provide you with the ability to complete and file online Form T3010.
We apologize for the inconvenience and we will provide updates as the situation evolves.
Here is a screenshot of the CRA Charities and Giving page tonight:
By Mark Blumberg, Blumbergs