Can't you make an exception to the tax receipt rules just once?

Any misuse of the right to issue official income tax receipts can lead to a variety of monetary penalties up to and including losing our charitable registration status. We always follow the rules for charities set by the CRA. Please contact us before donating if you are concerned that an official income tax receipt may not be issued, or may not be issued in the way you expect.

I made a donation, but have changed my mind. Can I get a refund?

We are usually not allowed to return a donor’s gift as outlined by the CRA rules for charities. Once the gift has been made we must use the gift for our charitable purpose. There are exceptions. For instance, if we mistakenly charge a credit card twice for single gift we would refund the second transaction. In some circumstances where a request for a refund was made without cause, we can offer to transfer funds to another registered charity instead of refunding the gift.

My business is doing cause-related marketing. Can I get a tax receipt?

Generally, no, an official income tax receipt cannot be issued in this scenario. The benefit received by the business is to their reputation and their sales may have increased because of the promotion (collectively called an ‘advantage’). Since the CRA requires any advantage to be subtracted from an eligible donation, and the value of the advantage cannot be made clear, it’s not possible to issue a receipt. Often, the business chooses to claim the donation as an advertising expense instead of a charitable gift.

When can I expect to receive my tax receipt?

Anyone who has requested an annual receipt or is a member of give12: our monthly giving program, can expect to receive their tax receipt near the beginning of February of the following year. Exceptions to this would be any in-kind tax receipts, which cannot be included with the annual receipt due to special requirements set by the CRA. All other receipts are sent soon after the donation is made, most often within two weeks. During extremely busy periods such as Christmas, delays can sometimes happen.

Can I get one receipt annually instead of a separate one each time I donate?

This is up to you! By default, an income tax receipt would be issued shortly after receiving your donation. However, if you tell us that you’d prefer to receive a single receipt that includes the total of all your donations in a calendar year, we will typically issue that in the first week of February of the following year. Most of our donation appeals include a checkbox that allows you to choose to have an annual receipt. You may also contact us and make the request.

Can you email my tax receipt?

At this time, electronic tax receipts are only available if you make a donation through our website. Those receipts will be issued by CanadaHelps directly to the email address you provide at the time of the donation. For all other donations, tax receipts will be sent by regular mail to the address you provide. The option to issue any tax receipt by email is an option we’re working toward offering in the future.

I did not receive or have lost my tax receipt. What do I do?

Contact us and give us details about the donation you made. If the donation was eligible for a tax receipt, we can issue a replacement receipt. Please note that a replacement tax receipt cancels the receipt number of the one it’s replacing, so if the old receipt is located, it will no longer be valid for income tax purposes. We don’t issue duplicate receipts (i.e. receipts that have the same tax receipt number as a previous receipt).

Can I get an income tax receipt for donating an item?

A non-monetary donation may be eligible for what is called an ‘in-kind’ tax receipt. There are several rules set by the CRA to guide when and how a tax receipt can be issued for in-kind donations, so they must be handled on a case-by-case basis. We encourage you to contact us to review the details of your donation before it is made. In-kind receipts require additional information to be issued, like the fair market value of the item(s), a description of the item(s) and an appraiser’s name and address, if applicable.

My workmates collected monetary donations. Can we all get tax receipts?

Yes. Someone at the workplace will need to collect the information required for an income tax receipt (full names, home addresses, and amount donated) and provide that information when the donation is made. It is important to ensure that the total of the funds collected match or exceed the total amount requested in tax receipts. The information collected would include a declaration that those listed are the true donors of the funds and request tax receipts.