While the situation is quickly evolving, we want to update our readers on how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect charities and non-profits’ regulatory obligations and their access to government services:
- Extended deadline for T3010s. The Charities Directorate is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020, for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020. For example, a charity with a fiscal year end of March 31st would normally have a September 30th deadline for filing its T3010, but this year the charity will have until December 31, 2020.
- Annual Corporate Filings. At this time
neither Corporations Canada nor the Ontario Ministry has announced extensions
for corporate filing deadlines, nor for annual general meetings. As most places
have prohibitions on large gatherings, many organizations should be prepare to
hold virtual AGMs.
- Federal Corporations. Earlier this month Corporations Canada updated their page to alert the public that COVID-19 may cause delays in processing. We note that as of today, they have taken down this alert from their filing centre. As most filing can be done online, we do not anticipate significant delays at this moment.
- Ontario Corporations. Neither the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee and Service Ontario Ministry have announced that they expect delays at this time.
- Charities Directorate Disruptions. As of Sunday, March 15th, 2020, CRA employees who perform non-critical services have been asked to stay home on paid leave. Many of CRA’s regular services will be temporarily unavailable. The Charities Directorate has suspended all operations until further notice, including call center services, as well as charitable registrations and audit activities. Note: We expect that applications for charitable registration and requests for approval of changes will be processed in chronological order.
- Closure of non-essential workplaces. Charities and non-profits are subject to the government of Ontario’s order for non-essential businesses to shut down by Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 11:59pm. Many charities and non-profits provide services which are included on Ontario’s list of essential services. This order does not preclude the provision of work and services by entities not on this list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery. Note that teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses.
Governments at all levels are beginning to announce grants and emergency funding for the charities and non-profits which are critical to the fight against the novel coronavirus. We expect more substantial funding to flow to the sector in the coming months. In the meantime, organizations should consider whether they are eligible for the temporary wage subsidy:
- Temporary wage subsidy for employers. The Government of Canada announced a temporary wage subsidy for employers for a period of three months, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Effective immediately, eligible employers (including non-profit organizations and registered charities) that pay remuneration to an employee, such as salary, wages, or taxable benefits, on or after March 18th and before June 20th, are permitted to reduce remittances of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax by the amount of the subsidy. This measure is only applicable to remittances made to the CRA.
you wish to discuss how disruptions caused by COVID-19 may affect your charity
of non-profit, email email@example.com to schedule a phone consultation with one
of our lawyers.
 For the complete list, see: https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces#section-2
 For more information, see’ CRA’s “Frequently Asked Questions – Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers” webpage: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html
Lex Klombies is a charity and non-profit lawyer at Drache Aptowitzer LLP. She can be reached at LKlombies@drache.ca