A registered charity is an organization established and operated for charitable purposes, and must devote its resources to charitable activities. The charity must be resident in Canada, and cannot use its income to benefit its members.
A charity also has to meet a public benefit test. To qualify under this test, an organization must show that:
- its activities and purposes provide a tangible benefit to the public;
- those people who are eligible for benefits are either the public as a whole, or a significant section of it, in that they are not a restricted group or one where members share a private connection, such as social clubs or professional associations with specific membership;
- the charity's activities must be legal and must not be contrary to public policy.
To register as a charity, the organization has to be either incorporated or governed by a legal document called a trust or a constitution. This document has to explain the organization's purposes and structure.
For more information, see Charities and Giving.
Forms and publications
- Guide T4063, Registering a Charity for Income Tax Purposes
- Booklet RC2, The Business Number and Your Canada Revenue Agency Program Accounts
- Form RC1, Request for a Business Number
- Form T2050, Application to Register a Charity Under the Income Tax Act
- Business Registration Online
- Canada Business Network
- Related provincial and territorial government sites
- Industry Canada
- Corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship?
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