As a founding member of the Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector (ACCS) for almost two years, I am in a position to provide an insider’s view of developments of the committee as well as the reports released to date.
- First, as you can see from the timeline below, there was some considerable time spent connecting, organizing, planning and consulting before the first report was released in January of this year. This was a new arrangement on the part of both the federal government and the sector, and to our collective credit, the storming, norming and performing time was time well spent.
- Second, this is a permanent committee, so while the appointed membership will change, the overall representation of the charitable sector and government officials will remain in place. This means that there will be time to revisit core issues, develop new areas of investigation and advice and reflect the changing landscape of the charitable sector.
- Third, the ACCS is advisory. We’re certainly hoping that our advice will be taken, and it will be up to both the advisory committee and the sector-at-large to monitor the implementation of the recommendations over time. That said, the ACCS has also received a significant number of recommendations to consider by the Minister of Revenue in the government’s response to the Catalyst for Change, the Senate Report on the Charitable Sector. It will be a challenge for the ACCS to balance these requests and stay true to the core issues facing the charitable sector.
ACCS Report Timeline
Highlights of Report #1
- Amend the “own activities” test from the ITA, and require through this amendment a focus on “resource accountability”.
- Amend the income tax Act to allow all appeals to go to the Tax Court of Canada
- Create a permanent “home in government” for Canada’s charities and nonprofits.
Highlights of Report #2
- Work toward reconciliation by seeking ongoing advice from Indigenous organizations, clarifying and simplifying its guidance and administrative systems, and building internal competencies around the history, culture, and relationships between Indigenous Peoples and the Crown.
- Co-create a national data strategy and coordinate and enhance the uses of economic, administrative and human resources data and improve charitable data by the Charities Directorate through changes to the T3010.
For an interesting summary of the report, consult our partner, The Philanthropist’s article: Improved Indigenous relations, more data, modernized legal definitions: Sector advisory committee issues second report
This article was written by Peter R. Elson