FB13. We have heard that religious societies are exempt from filing T3010 annual returns with the Canada Revenue Agency. Is that true?
Some religious charities are exempted from filling out some of the sections of the Registered Charity Information Return (T3010). The charities exempted must be religious communities or religious orders. In order to qualify for the exemption, a religious charity must:
- have been in existence on December 31, 1977;
- have not received a gift at any time since December 31, 1977, for which they have issued official donation receipts; and
- have not directly, or indirectly, received gifts from another registered charity, associated or not, that has issued official donation receipts since December 31, 1977.
As you can see, this exemption is very limited and only applies to a handful of religious charities. It was created because the groups affected did not use the tax system to attract donations, nor did they issue tax receipts. They were, in essence, private organizations. Even if a religious charity qualifies, the exemption only means that there are some sections of the T3010 form it does not need to complete. It doesn’t mean that it does not have to file the form at all. It is extremely unlikely that your group falls within this exemption.