Taxman revokes status of three charities

The headquarters of the Canada Revenue Agency is photographed in Ottawa, November 4, 2011. (CHRIS...

The headquarters of the Canada Revenue Agency is photographed in Ottawa, November 4, 2011. (CHRIS ROUSSAKIS/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:00 PM ET

The Canada Revenue Agency says it has revoked the charitable status of three organizations for alleged violations, including overstated revenue and using donations for private gain.

The Animals' Charity, the Latitude Foundation and Universal Community Help will no longer be able to take advantage of tax exemptions for charities or issue charitable tax receipts to donors.

The Animals' Charity, based in Hamilton, Ont., was cited for issuing more than $9 million in questionable donation receipts, and for operating in conjunction with a private "donation arrangement promoter" for non-charitable purposes, CRA says.

CRA accuses the Markham, Ont.-based Latitude Foundation of issuing receipts totalling more than $15.4 million for cash it received which it then used to buy life insurance policies that named people related to the organization's directors as beneficiaries.

Universal Community Help, based in Toronto, failed to keep proper books, CRA says, with the result that bank deposits for one particular fiscal year didn't match the declared revenue and three years' worth of donation receipts totalling $347,435 weren't recorded.

CRA says it is reviewing all "tax shelter-related" donation arrangements and plans to audit all parties involved in them. The agency says one such arrangement would be the promise of a charitable tax receipt worth more than the amount of the donation.


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