In recent weeks, charities have been watching the progress of the private member’s bill sponsored by Manitoba Conservative MP Ted Falk. The ‘Fairness in Charitable Gifts Act’ (Bill C-239) will be debated in the House of Commons beginning in mid-April. A vote on whether to send the bill to committee for further study is likely in late May or early June.
The proposed bill essentially is seeking to change the rules for charitable tax credits by having them mirror the rules that apply for donations to political parties – but without the annual limit on donations that is in place for political parties. Charitable donations would generate a tax credit of: 75% for the first $400, 50% on the portion from $400 to $750, and 33.3% for the portion above $750. A number of organizations have been asking what Imagine Canada has to say about Mr. Falk’s proposals, here is our position at this time:
Imagine Canada is delighted that Member of Parliament Ted Falk has the interests of the sector at heart. His proposal provides a wonderful platform to talk about tax incentives for charitable giving. During the most recent pre-budget consultations, Imagine Canada and a number of other organizations re-iterated support for the Stretch Tax Credit, a concept that would reward Canadians that give more each year to charitable organizations. Given the importance of encouraging charitable giving, the work that has been done on the Stretch Tax Credit proposal, and the potential magnitude of Mr. Falk’s proposal, Imagine Canada would like to see the House of Commons vote to refer the ‘Fairness in Charitable Gifts Act’ to committee. This will enable Parliamentarians to hear formally from the sector, to carry out rigorous financial and data analysis, and give the issue of charitable giving the serious and detailed study it merits.