Christian Economic Assistance Foundation
The Christian Economic Assistance Foundation was a registered charity from 1972 to 2013, operating several programs designed to assist Christian organizations in achieving their objectives for promoting Christianity. These programs were audited by the Canada Revenue Agency in 1992, 1996 and 2006. No concerns were raised, and so the programs were continued on the premise that they were in compliance with CRA policies.
In January 2013 CEAF was notified that CRA had serious concerns with the School Support Program. This program was designed in 1984 to provide arms –length, third party grants to Christian schools to support specific programs at the school, other than capital costs. CRA now took the view, bolstered by recent court cases, that the program was not sufficiently independent or “arms’ length”, and hence challenged the receipts issued for that program as improper gifts.
In February this year, CEAF sent letters to all donors explaining the situation and announcing the suspension of all programs while the matter at issue was being adjudicated. In the period between February and June, the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools assisted parents with ongoing information about the discussions with CRA and retained professional support for processing of the initial notices. By the end of June it became clear that the solution – recalculation of the school issued tax receipts- proposed by tax experts was not acceptable to CRA and in July the first reassessments were sent to donors to the SS Program.
In July of 2013 CEAF received a letter confirming CRA’s decision to revoke its charitable status. That ends CEAF’s history as a charity and severely limits its ability to act in this unfortunate set of events. CEAF regrets the financial challenges now faced by a number of families.
We believe our forty year existence was a significant contribution to important religious projects. We recommend that parents involved in the reassessments make use of the advisors currently recommended by the OACS.