Scouting-related Expenses Are not Tax Deductible in Canada
Michel Audy (audy@OANET.COM)
Thu, 6 Feb 1997 01:35:43 -0700
Frank Potter asked:
>Are there any Revenue Canada employees on this service or Canadian tax
>lawyers/accountants who would know if Canadian Scouters could make similar
>deductions from income?
>Over taxed minds want to know!
The general answer is, unfortunately, NO. In Canada, in order to get a
charitable deduction, the payment must be to a registered charity. And in
the majority of cases, payment must be by cash.
However, if you have an amenable Region and Group Committee, you can
sometimes make it work out. First, you make a cash contribution to your
Region (in your case Calgary), since they are the ones who can issue
official receipts. In your donation, you ask that it be directed to "#209
Erin Woods Scouting Group". They will usually send the money on as you
request, and then send you a donation receipt. When Calgary Region sends
the money to the Erin Woods Group Committee, you put in an expense account
for all of your expenses, and hopefully they reimburse you. You have now
converted non-deductible expenses into a charitable donation.
However, technically you can not arrange this ahead of time, nor can you put
any restrictions on the uses that are made of the donation. The amount
donated to Calgary Region must be without expectation of any benefit to
yourself, or it is not a "donation". Since it is clear that you expect to
get your money back, it is questionable whether it really qualifies as a
charitable donation. Additionally, if lots of people played this game, and
it was obvious that the amounts given to Scouts Canada was just going to
come back to them, Revenue Canada might come down hard on Scouts Canada.
A "safer" way of doing it might be to donate a round amount that is somewhat
more than your expenses. Your Group Committee would then have something
left over after paying your expenses, and it would "look" better.
Another concern is whether being reimbursed for gas and/or mileage could be
considered as the "carrying of passengers for compensation or hire", and
therefore void your liability insurance while driving the
Beavers/Cubs/Scouts around. There are exclusions for "occasional and
infrequent" transportation of youth for educational activities, and other
items, so I don't think it really is a problem. However, some people feel
very strongly that even just being paid your gas could cause difficulties
with your car insurance. I have never heard a legal opinion about this.
Good luck Frank.
193rd Village on the Lake Venturers
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City