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Tax Tip: Donate Wisely this Holiday Season!

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 12/18/13 -- The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) regulates more than 86,000 registered charities in Canada. To make sure your donation goes to a legitimate charity, the CRA advises you to follow a few tips.

Important tips

--  Confirm that the organization is a Canadian registered charity.
    Registered charities have to devote their resources to charitable
    activities and are monitored by the CRA. Only charities that are
    registered with the CRA can issue official donation receipts, which can
    be used by the donor to claim a charitable tax credit. To check if an
    organization is registered, go to the CRA Charities Listings at
    www.cra.gc.ca/charitylists or call the CRA at 1-800-267-2384.

--  Get to know the charity.
    Start by visiting the charity's website to learn about its activities
    and how it's managed. You can also review its financial information and
    activities by looking at its information returns using the CRA's Charity
    Quick View at www.cra.gc.ca/charitylists. One of the best ways to learn
    about a charity is to volunteer.

--  Beware of gifting tax shelter schemes that promise you returns greater
    than your donation.
    There are many risks associated with these donation schemes and, in many
    cases, less than 1% of the funds donated are used for charitable works.
    The CRA strongly advises that you not participate in gifting tax shelter
    schemes. As of the 2013 tax year, if the amounts you have donated to a
    gifting tax shelter are in dispute, you are now required by law to pay
    50 per cent of the taxes you may owe.

--  Learn to recognize the signs of fraud.
    Signs of fraud could include inappropriate pressure to give immediately,
    individuals who demand cash only or ask that you write a cheque payable
    to them rather than the charity. In addition, fraudulent organizations
    sometimes use names that are similar to well-known and respected
    registered charities.

Learn more about donating wisely this holiday season. Visit www.cra.gc.ca/donors.

Stay connected

To receive updates when new information is added to our website, you can:

- Follow the CRA on Twitter - @CanRevAgency.

- Subscribe to a CRA electronic mailing list.

- Add our RSS feeds to your feed reader.

You can also watch our tax-related videos on YouTube.

Noel Carisse
Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency

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