With a convention goal of 1000 churches by 2020, we are always excited to get “birth announcements” from our church planting team. It’s not about the number but rather the thought that lives will be changed in communities across Canada because of this church plant and its ministry.
In Canada the federal government allows for churches to register for charitable status for the purpose of advancing religion. In this article we address the question of why our church plants should register for charitable status.
Some reasons for seeking charitable status are:
- Charities are exempt from paying tax
- Charities can offer donors tax relief by issuing official donation receipts to reduce income tax
payable of an individual or corporate donor
- Charities are considered “qualified donees” and therefore can receive funding from other
- Registered charities are more “credible” as they must follow rules and guidelines to maintain
- Charities are exempt from GST/HST on goods and services provided and can claim rebates
on GST/HST that they pay.
Each year in Canada there are billions of dollars given to charities and donors receive tax relief for such gifts. For some donors this does not necessarily equate to the reason they give but in all cases the legitimacy of the organization is enhanced with the knowledge that the organization is registered and able to accept these gifts. The official donation receipt issued by the charity is a benefit the charity can offer to the donor.
In order for a church to receive funding from another charitable organization, it must be a registered charity. When the convention receives funding for our church plants, we can only send it along for processing to a church that is also a registered Canadian charity. If the new church is not registered, we must work with the registered sponsoring or mother church to process funding. In the past we used the term “mission church” and some of our churches that birthed churches years ago continue to experience the birth of children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. The role of the “parent” church is extremely important and will be discussed in a future article.
Our web site, www.cnbc.ca, has information on how to register for charitable status. The application form and additional information is available on the government website, www.cra-arc.gc.ca.