News Release – Be an Informed Donor

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The following is now available on the CRA Web site:

Ottawa, Ontario, November 20, 2007…

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has a message for Canadians who donate to charities: “Be an informed donor.” Tips for protecting yourself from fraud will be shared through public notices that will be published in newspapers across the country beginning the week of November 19, 2007.

“Canadians are very generous people. As a matter of fact, close to 5.8 million Canadians claimed donations to registered charities on their income tax returns last year”, said Gordon O’Connor, Minister of National Revenue. “As a government, we have taken steps to encourage charitable giving and to inform Canadians on the ways that they can ensure that every dollar given to charity has the maximum possible impact and stays out of the hands of fraudsters.”

Public notices will appear six times over the next three weeks in more than 75 daily newspapers across the country, as well as in several Arabic, Chinese, Punjabi, and Spanish publications. The notices will advise donors of the CRA Charities Listings, available at http://www.cra.gc.ca/donors, to verify that any charity they wish to donate to is registered. The notices also warn against getting involved in donation-related tax shelter schemes that promise tax savings greater than the donor’s cost.

The public education initiative aims to help donors become more informed by accessing CRA resources to research registered charities before they give. The CRA also participates in trade shows to interact directly with donors, has published a pamphlet – Giving to Charity: Information for Donors (RC4407 available online), recently completed a direct mail campaign to 400,000 households, and maintains an informative donor section on its Web site at http://www.cra.gc.ca/donors.

The CRA regulates registered charities under the Income Tax Act. Under this Act, donations to registered charities can help to reduce your individual income tax.

SOURCE: CRA Newsroom

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