You can claim a federal and provincial non-refundable tax credit on your tax return when you or your spouse or common-law partner gives money or other property to a registered charity or other qualifying organization.
Tip: Only registered charities can issue official receipts for income tax purposes. Check the CRA Charities Listings to find out if a charity is registered.
How the tax credit works
In most cases, the amount you can claim is the amount shown on your charitable donation receipt. The maximum donation amount you can claim is 75% of your net income.
- a 15% federal tax credit for the first $200 of charitable donations,
- a 29% federal tax credit for amounts over $200, and
- a provincial tax credit.
You don’t have to claim all the donations you made this year on your current year’s return. You can carry them forward and claim them on your return for any of the next 5 years. You can also combine your receipts with your spouse and have only one person claim the entire amount.
If you file a paper return, submit your receipts. If you file electronically, keep your receipts as support for your claim. Learn more about charitable donations.
Tip: The maximum donation amount you can claim is 75% of your net income.
Rules introduced in 2011
The 2011 Budget included changes to charitable donation rules, including:
- Rules that aim to stop people from acquiring and donating flow-through shares at little or no after-tax cost.
- Extending rules that apply to registered charities to other entities that are also allowed to issue official donation receipts:
- registered Canadian amateur athletic associations
- Canadian municipalities
- public bodies performing government functions in Canada
- housing corporations constituted exclusively to provide low-cost housing for the aged
- non-Canadian universities (which ordinarily have Canadian students)
- other non-Canadian charitable organizations.
First-time donor’s super credit (FDSC)
The 2013 Budget introduced a temporary “super credit” for donations made after March 20, 2013 for taxpayers:
- who have either never claimed the charitable donation tax credit, or
- who have not done so since 2007.
If your spouse claimed the donation tax credit after 2007, you will not be considered a first-time donor. Also, you can only claim the FDSC once from the 2013 to 2017 tax years.
The donation super credit is a 25% enhancement to the existing credit: 40% for donations up to $200 and 54% for donations between $200 and $1,000.
Learn more about the first-time donor’s super credit.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca