4.6.1 - Issuing Charitable Tax Receipts: Guidelines and Requirements

The following guidelines are in accordance with CRA rules:


Will I get a tax receipt for my donation?

Special Olympics Ontario is a Canadian registered charity and is authorized by the Canada Revenue Agency to issue official receipts for income tax purposes. Tax-deductible receipts are issued to donors who make gifts to charities. A gift is a transfer of cash, where the donor receives no benefit in return. The donation of Gifts in kind and Marketable Securities can also be receipted based on various restrictions. Please check with us.


I bought a fundraising dinner ticket. Can I get a receipt?

In general, if there is a “benefit” for the donation / if the donor receives something in return for the donation, then a tax receipt is not usually issued. In certain circumstances, the non benefited portion of a contribution may be receipted. However, we suggest you receive guidance from us in advance.


What if part of the dinner ticket is intended for donation?

You can get a partial receipt. The event organizer needs to calculate the eligible amount of a gift for receipting purposes when the donor has received an advantage (consideration) in return for their donation. To determine the eligible amount for receipting purposes, the value of the advantage must be subtracted from the value of the gift. Specific written guidance from us is required in advance.


I purchased an item through a silent auction at an event. Do I get a tax receipt?

If someone purchases an item at an auction, they are receiving a benefit (the purchased item) for their money and thus a tax receipt will NOT be issued. Purchases of live or silent auction items, raffle tickets, event admission tickets or green fees are not eligible for tax receipts. SOO can issue tax receipts only to individuals or organizations that make a donation without receiving any product or tangible item in return.  Most participants are happy to acquire an auction item without any expectation of receiving a tax receipt. They are delighted to know that their contribution would go to a worthy cause.


I have donated personal services and need a tax receipt.

A tax receipt CANNOT be issued for any personal services rendered including but not limited to legal, entertainment, transportation, dining services or rental of vacation properties.


We have received many donations from local businesses for our silent auction. Can SOO issue tax receipts to those who have donated items?

Many companies are happy to deduct the donation as a business expense, without requiring a donation receipt. We are happy to provide a charitable Business Receipt for their files.


How do I get a tax receipt for my event sponsors?

Sponsorships are not eligible for charitable tax receipts, as the sponsor receives advertising, marketing or promotional value and therefore the payment is not a gift. Instead, sponsors can receive a business acknowledgment letter for the value of their sponsorship which can be used to support business expenses.


I want to donate an item from my business. Do I receive a tax receipt?

SOO is able to provide "gift-in-kind" letters for the donations of goods from businesses or individuals. These letters can be used to support business promotion expenses. Gift-in-kind receipts will only be issued to individuals for material goods, if the goods are new and original and a receipt or invoice from the purchase accompanies the request for a receipt. There are other specific and important rules with respect to Gift-in-Kind receipting. Therefore ensure you have our previous written guidance on any such matter.


I have art I would like to donate. Do I get a tax receipt?

Gifts of artwork, wine, collectibles, or items of a unique nature must be accompanied by a recent independent appraisal, regardless of value. Gifts of art donated by artists and art dealers are seen as disposition from their inventory and therefore are not eligible for income tax receipt. However SOO can provide a gift-in-kind receipt subject to other criteria. Please ensure you receive our written guidance in advance.


Which donations do not qualify for an official donation receipt?

Some examples of donations to registered charities that do not usually qualify for an official donation receipt include:

contributions of services, such as time, skills, effort;

certain admission fees to events or to programs (e.g., fees for day-care or nursery school facilities);

the purchase price of a lottery ticket or other chance to win a prize, even though the lottery proceeds benefit one or more charities; and

the payment of tuition fees (exceptions exist).


These guidelines may be amended from time to time at the sole discretion of CRA and SOO. In order to avoid any misunderstandings and improper acts, please ensure you check the CRA website at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/menu-eng.html for greater details. For more information, please contact SOO’s Donor Relations Coordinator.

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