CHF BC Essentials - May 28, 2012

Family fun at the Co-op Housing Summer BBQ

Join in the fun at the Co-op Housing Summer BBQ on Saturday, June 23, from noon to 3 pm. Share a barbecue and potluck with other co-op members at Trout Lake Park. We'll have games, races, and prizes for kids and adults too. And this year we'll take a moment to celebrate the International Year of Co-operatives and CHF BC's 30th anniversary. Hope to see you there! 


What's Happening

Co-op housing members come together for food and good fun at the Co-op Housing Summer BBQ on June 23.

Upcoming Events

Jun 8
YES Camp Draw 

Jun 23
Co-op Housing Summer BBQ


Good news from CHF Canada and Canada Revenue

CHF BC has learned that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will no longer send “educational letters” to co-ops and other non-profit housing groups, threatening their tax-exempt status. These letters, which followed selective CRA tax audits, claimed that some common practices, such as rooftop rental, surplus space leasing, investment income and even reducing the housing charges of low-income households, compromised income tax-exempt status.

CHF Canada wrote to the Finance Minister on behalf of a broad coalition of housing stakeholders, including CHF BC, the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association, and the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. Their letter set out concerns with CRA’s findings, which are based on a new and alarming interpretation of the Income Tax Act. CRA will now discontinue the practice of sending out these opinion letters, and take no action on any of the letters previously issued.

The audits that gave rise to these letters will continue, but only to provide the Department of Finance officials with sufficient data to determine a future policy direction. CHF Canada was assured that housing stakeholders will be fully consulted by Finance in the process of policy development, which could lead to changes to the Income Tax Act to clarify our tax-exempt status. CRA is already working on a revised interpretation, and has asked CHF Canada for a briefing document that sets out our position on tax-exempt status for housing co-ops.

"This is good news," said CHF BC executive director, Thom Armstrong. "Some older co-ops in BC will still face some issues because of the wording in their original incorporation documents, but we are working to address those issues. This announcement from CRA is a big relief to everyone."