Parents at Christian schools across the country could suddenly face bills for back taxes and a hike in school fees after the Canada Revenue Agency ruled that a charity-run program that helps students attend independent religious schools is “merely a tax scheme” designed to mask tuition payments as grants.
The federal tax agency said in a letter this month donations to the Christian Economic Assistance Foundation made in 2009 and 2010 would be denied because they do not qualify as “gifts” under the Income Tax Act.
It accused the Christian organization of setting up its School Support Program to intentionally circumvent the act and, quoting the organization’s own pamphlet, “offset the impact of unfair government policies” such as the decision not to fund non-Catholic religious schools.
“It is CRA’s opinion that the intention of the School Support Program is merely a tax scheme to artificially maximize charitable donation receipts received…
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