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Donation Receipts: How Complete Is Complete?


Charities should ensure that any donation receipts issued are fully compliant with the tax rules. Failure to do so may result in the donor being denied a charitable donation if reviewed by CRA. This could cause operational and goodwill problems for the charity.
Receipts for cash gifts must have the following:
  • a statement that it is an official receipt for income tax purposes;
  • the name and address of the charity as on file with CRA;
  • a unique serial number;
  • the registration number issued by CRA;
  • the location (city, town, municipality) where the receipt was issued;
  • the date or year the gift was received and the date the receipt was issued;
  • the full name, including middle initial, and address of the donor;
  • the amount of the gift;
  • the amount and description of any advantage received by the donor;
  • the eligible amount of the gift;
  • the signature of an individual authorized by the charity to acknowledge gifts; and
  • the name and website address of CRA.
Receipts for non-cash gifts must also include:
  • the date the gift was received (if not already included);
  • a brief description of the gift received by the charity; and
  • the name and address of the appraiser (if the gift was appraised).
The amount of a non-cash gift must be the fair market value of the gift at the time the gift was made.
Effective March 31, 2019, charities and qualified donees must include the new website address of CRA: www.canada.ca/charities-giving on all donation receipts. This follows the move of various old Federal Government websites to the new official www.canada.ca website.
Action Item: If you are involved with a charity, ensure properly completed donation receipts are being distributed.

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