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Federal Budget Analysis

Perhaps Drache Aptowitzer LLP’s Adam Aptowitzer summed up the federal government’s Budget 2013 best when he said, “Despite bearing relatively little news for charities, this in itself is probably good news for charities.”

While the Alberta budget roared in following months of controversy, Jim Flaherty’s Budget 2013 strolled in with little fanfare. That said, critics of the budget certainly exist on both sides of the spectrum, with some complaining the government cut too much, while others are saying they didn’t cut enough.

There isn’t much in the way of new spending in the budget and many of the big announcements are just reallocations of funding.

There is no specific mention of the Canada Summer Jobs program, which is of special interest to Alberta’s nonprofits after the Summer Temporary Employment Program was cut.

For international development organizations, it is interesting to note that The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will now be a junior ministry under Foreign Affairs. This move is to increase efficiencies, though critics warn it opens up CIDA to more political influence. The long term effects of this decision are yet to be seen, but I expect more coverage on this issue.

Despite the attention that Bill C-458 (National Charities Week Act) drew a couple of months ago, the stretch tax credits for charitable donations are not included in this budget. What did appear was the First Time Donors Credit, a supplement to the existing charitable donations tax credit (CDTC) and would allow for an individual to receive an additional 25% tax credit on a first-time charitable donation.

Apparently to encourage young people to start donating, anyone who has not filed a charitable tax deduction since 2007 is eligible for the program. This one-time “super-credit” will bump the non-refundable tax credit of 15% percent for donations under $200 to 40% and for $200-$1000 donations from 29% to 54%.

All in all, there is nothing shocking about Federal Budget 2013. Information on other aspects of the budget can be found on the federal government website. The Globe and Mail also has an in-depth analysis.

 

Steven Kwasny, Stakeholder Relations Coordinator

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