Here’s a good site to check the validity of Canadian charitable donations made during the year, directly on the Canada Revenue Agency website …
This site is handy for me checking to see if charities are legit or not. A client insisted that a charitable contribution was made during 2005. After looking at the receipt, I informed my client that it was not an official charitible donation, that although in the good of their hearts the receipt does show a generous contribution made to a company, and it was described as a “donation” .. there was no registered charity number on the receipt. That’s the first giveaway.
Whenever the registered charity number is missing from a receipt, or if it is hand-written .. I always go to the above site and double check. Sometimes companies will just issue a cash receipt and mark it as a donation .. and then when the contributor asks them for their charity number, they might just write down their business number. Another sign to watch if an organization issues donation receipts on the spot is .. the receipt is not pre-numbered.
I will not claim these amounts as charitable donations … ever.
However, there are circumstances for self-employed individuals that I would normally claim these non-deductible charitable donations as “Advertising and Promotion” .. but, that’s another story!
If you are just looking for general information about donations and gifts, you can see the document in either html format or .pdf format, again, directly from the horse’s mouth .. Canada Revenue Agency