Finance Minister Jim Flaherty released Budget 2012 on Thursday, March 29. The budget includes several provisions affecting charities, including requirements to provide more information about political activities, limitations on the extent to which charities may fund political activities of other charitable organizations, and new sanctions for charities that exceed the limits on political activities or that fail to provide complete and accurate reporting.
The budget did not include incentives for charitable giving as proposed by AHP and other charitable organizations, such as the Stretch Tax Credit or the elimination of capital gains tax on gifts of private company shares and real estate. However, the Standing Committee on Finance did express an interest in working with charitable organizations to develop fundraising activities around the elimination of the penny, which was announced as part of Budget 2012 as a cost-saving initiative.
As reported in the government's background document regarding the withdrawal of the penny from circulation, the redemption of pennies could present fundraising opportunities because it is believed that Canadians are in possession of several billion pennies. In other countries where low-currency coins have been eliminated, nonprofit organizations have held successful collection campaigns.