RC1. Is my organization a registered charity?
A “registered charity” is a technical and precise term referring to a charitable organization that is registered under the Income Tax Act (ITA). In order for your organization to be a registered charity, you must have applied for charitable status with the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Municipal, provincial (territorial), federal, and specific commissions and other bodies define the terms “charity” and “charitable” in various ways. Just because your organization is referred to as a “charity” or because you do “charitable” work (that is, helping those in need and not taking any profit) does not necessarily mean that your organization is a registered charity under the ITA.
Your organization can become a registered charity by applying for charitable status with the CRA. Detailed requirements are set out in the rules of the ITA. The process begins by sending in a completed T2050 form. When the process is complete, the federal government provides you with a charities registration number.(See FAQ RC4)
Don’t confuse a charities registration number with a fundraising registration number (issued by the province, territory, or municipality) or a corporate number (issued upon registration as a corporation).