G2. What transactions or donations generally do not qualify as gifts?

G.2 What transactions or donations generally do not qualify as gifts?


Short answer

The following are examples of items that do not qualify as cash gifts or gifts-in-kind:

  • a court ordered transfer of property to a charity;
  • the payment of a basic fee for admission to an event or to a program (for example, fees for daycare of nursery school);
  • the payment of membership fees that convey the right to attend events, receive literature, receive services, or be eligible for entitlements of any materials value that exceed 80 per cent of the value of the payment (membership fees are considered gifts if they confer no more than the right to vote at a meeting and receive reports of the charity's activities - unless such reports are otherwise available for a fee.);
  • the purchase of a lottery ticket or other chance to win a prize, even though the lottery proceeds may benefit one or more charities;
  • the payment of tuition fees (except as permitted by Information Circular 75-23, Tuition Fees and Charitable Donations Paid to Privately Supported Secular and Religious Schools as seen in Tuition Fees and Charitable Donations Paid to Privately Supported Secular and Religious Schools
  • the purchase of goods or services from a charity;
  • a donation for which the fair market value of the advantage or consideration provided to the donor exceeds 80 per cent;
  • a gift in kind for which the fair market value cannot be determined;
  • contributions provided in exchange for advertising and/or sponsorship;
  • gifts of services (for example, donated time, skills, or labour); a charity can, however, pay for services rendered and later accept the return of all or a portion of the payment as a gift, provided it is returned voluntarily;
  • items of little or only nominal value, such as used clothing, hobby crafts or home baking;
  • promises of goods or services for redemption in future (for example, gift certificates) donated by the issuer or hotel accommodation);
  • pledges;
  • loans of property;
  • use of a timeshare;
  • the lease of premises;
  • a donation subject to a direction by the donor (for example, that the charity transfer the funds to specified persons or that the charity give the funds to a non-qualified donees.
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