Tax Alerts

Donation Tax Credit - Canadians Donating to Canadian Registered Charities

The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) offers a charitable donation tax credit as an incentive to donate in the form of tax savings for the charitable donors. This is a non-refundable tax credit which is applied to reduce taxes payable. Generally, you may claim eligible amounts of gifts up to a limit of 75% of your net income, with an exception for donations of certified cultural property or ecologically sensitive land.  

The chart below listed donation credit rates for the current year:

YEAR 2015

Eligible Donation less or equal to $200

Eligible Donation over $200

Federal Donation Credit



Provincial Donation Credit (B.C.)




Things to keep in mind when making a charitable donation:

  1. Choose an eligible organization - Not all organizations accepting donations are eligible to issue a tax receipt.Only Canadian registered charities and other qualified donees may issue official donation receipts for tax purposes.
  2. First Time Donor Super Credit - The First-Time Donor’s Super Credit offers an additional 25% federal tax credit on gifts of money made after March 20, 2013 up to a maximum of $1,000 for the year.This super credit is only available if neither you nor your spouse or common-law partner have claimed a charitable donations tax credit for any year after year 2007.
  3. Combine Charitable Donations - Donation receipts can be claimed by yourself or your spouse/common law partner as long as the credit is claimed only on one of the returns. In order to maximize tax savings, consider claiming the donation tax credit for the person who is paying taxes in a higher tax bracket.
  4. Carry Forward Unused Donations - Donations create a non-refundable tax credit, and therefore, if there are no taxes due, the CRA allows tax payer to carry forward any unclaimed eligible donation amounts for five years. For those donors who donate less than $200 on an annual basis or have smaller donations in one year, may want to defer claiming donations until the total reaches over the $200 threshold. Donations in excess of $200 are eligible for a higher tax credit, as outlined in the chart above.
  5. Donations in kind - There are many types of donations other than the gift of money and the CRA has different approach depending on the type of donation. One common donation is the donation of capital properties. These donations will be discussed further in a subsequent blog.
  6. Keep your records - All official tax receipts should be kept for 6 years in case the CRA requests to review them. Failure to provide supporting documentation upon request may result in a denial of the tax credit, which may lead to the assessment of additional taxes and interest.

If you have any questions in relation to the above, please speak to your tax advisor.

Donation Tax Credit - Canadians Donating to Canadian Registered Charities
About the Author
Daniel Leung is an accountant at Sadovnick Morgan LLP working primarily on compilation, tax and various other areas.
Phone: 604-688-7800 / 587.401.4900