D22. Our charity received a donation of ecologically sensitive land from a farmer. Can we issue an official donation receipt?

D22. Our charity received a donation of ecologically sensitive land from a farmer. Can we issue an official donation receipt?


Short answer

It depends. In order for an official donation receipt to be issued, the donation must:

  • fully qualify as a gift under Canadian tax law
    and
  • must meet the requirements for ecologically sensitive land.
Long answer

For it to be a gift, there must be a voluntary transfer of property. For example, a farmer donated a part of her land to your charity because as a condition for developing a portion of her property, she must donate part of her land for parkland. This donation would not qualify as a gift, as it was not voluntary.

All requirements for the gifting of ecologically sensitive land must also be met before a donation will be considered and treated as such. The requirements include:

  • the charity must be approved as an environmental charity and
  • each donation of land or a partial interest in land must be certified as ecologically sensitive before it can be included under the Ecological Gifts Program. The federal Minister of the Environment or a designated authority carries out this certification.
More…

A gift of ecologically sensitive land is dealt with in FAQ D20 and D21. Because of its complexity, a charity may wish to seek professional advice in dealing with this kind of donation.