Did You Donate to a Canadian Charity in 2017?


Tax season is soon approaching.

And we all love those deductions.

Whether you file your own taxes or outsource the task to an accountant, here are some helpful reminders via the Canada Revenue Agency.

You could be eligible for a charitable donation tax credit that reduces your taxes owing if you donated to a registered Canadian charity that gives official donation receipts. You get an official donation receipt from a registered Canadian charity or other qualified donee. You need an official receipt to claim a charitable donation tax credit.

If you want to learn more about the charity before donating, there are different ways to get information. You can:

  • Contact the charity directly - they are in the best position to give you information.
  • Search for them in the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) List of charities or check the list on the MyCRA mobile web app
  • Make an informal information request with the CRA for information about the charity
  • Make a formal access to information request with the CRA

You should keep your official donation receipts for six years after the end of the tax year you made a claim for, in case the Canada Revenue Agency asks to see them. If you did your taxes late, keep your receipts for six years from the date you submitted your return.

Donations of cash, goods, land, and listed securities to a registered charity or other qualified donee may be eligible for a charitable donation tax credit.

To calculate your charitable donation tax credit, you first need to figure out the eligible amount of your charitable donations. Once you know that amount, you need to decide how much you want to claim. In any one tax year, you can claim:

  • Donations you made by Dec. 31 of that year.
  • Any unclaimed donations you made in the previous five years.
  • Any unclaimed donations your spouse or common-law partner made during the year or in the last five years.

You can claim eligible amounts of gifts to a limit of 75 per cent of your net income. For gifts of certified cultural property or ecologically sensitive land, you may be able to claim up to 100 per cent of your net income. 

For more information go to: Pamphlet P113 Gifts and Income Tax.

For a quick estimate of your charitable donation tax credit for the current tax year, use the charitable donation tax credit calculator.

You are considered a first-time donor if you or your spouse or common-law partner haven’t claimed and been allowed a charitable donation tax credit after 2007.

If you’re eligible, you may be able to claim the first-time donor’s super credit. However, only gifts of money are eligible. For donations made after March 20, 2013 until the end of 2017, eligible first-time donors may get an additional federal tax credit of 25 per cent on the first $1,000 they donate. Keep in mind that 2017 is the  last year when you may be eligible to claim this credit

For more information on charities, donations, and charitable donation tax credits, go to the Charities and giving topic page on canada.ca.

Source: Canada Revenue Agency

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