Letter to a columnist

November 28, 2014

Hi Joe, That was a great article you wrote. I feel exactly the same as you do on the subject. As someone who fights with CRA for clients across Canada, on a daily basis the subject is very close to home. (I also did background work on the W5 tax documentaries) I especially enjoyed your shot at Harper's CRA regarding charities. Further to that... CRA has been outrageous on how it victimizes victims of charitable donation scams.... the standard CRA policy is to show no mercy. They refuse to understand the difference between being conned and having a guilty mind. CRA is fining victims 50% of refunds they tried to get and never received. I have a client who is a winner of the Norman Bethune award for philanthropy, who will no longer donate because they are trying to unjustly punish him to the tune of a million dollars. Knowing what I know about charitable donations, I would not recommend anyone donate to a charity until Mr. Harper changes things or is gone. I predict as bad an election disaster as what happened to Mr. Brian Mulroney. Donating to charities is honourable, and I donate directly to the poor. What is wrong with the whole charitable donations program besides Harper using it as a tool to bully, is that it is somewhat a fraud. Most people believe that there is a tax advantage from making donations. The reality is there is no advantage, it is just a cut your loss donation. The tax credit per dollar donated almost wipes out the tax on the dollar. The real thing is to understand that if you donate a dollar and save 50 cents in tax liability (if you actually do have a tax liability), you are better off to just donate 50 cents and don't worry about a tax receipt. If the tax system was fair, there would actually be a bottom line benefit to the donor. Because charity donations reduce the cost of social services, there should be a 100% dollar per dollar tax savings. The only trouble with the aforementioned is that such a system forces everyone else to share the cost due to tax revenue reduction. So the whole process does not make sense and needs an overhaul. Being that CRA gets the final say about who gets to be registered as a charity ... or revoked as the case may be. The charitable work ought to be run by a government agency equally funded by all tax payers. And it should be open to volunteer work, where volunteers get non refundable tax credits for putting in their time. Charities already use volunteers, so this would not be a big deal to accomplish and even easier with the giving of tax credits. Anyway... thanks for reading this... and of course a response to this email would be most welcome. And of course if I can assist you with any information that would help you in your work, I would be happy to help out... no charge Best Regards Dan

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