Information about charitable contributions and taxes

The Canadian income tax system encourages gifts to charitable organizations by granting tax credits. The actual tax credit may vary slightly depending on the province you live in. If you have donated more than $200 to any charity already this year, any donation you give now means a 50% tax return! Total annual donations of under $200 will give you approximately 25% back.

Either spouse can claim a tax credit, regardless of whose name is on the donation receipt. The general limit on the deduction of charitable donations is 75% of net income. However, unclaimed charitable donations can be carried forward for up to five years. Try our tax calculator now and see how far your gifts can really go. A big impact may cost less than you think.

Bonus: first-time donors receive a Super Credit

This program adds 25% tax savings on top of existing credits for giving to a charity.

How does the super credit work? The super credit can be used one time, up until the 2017 tax year. It provides an extra 25% tax credit on donations up to $1,000 for those who qualify as “First-Time” donors. Note: You can qualify as a first time donor if you haven’t claimed a charitable donation in the last five years.

$1,000 Donation without the Super Credit
= $550 After Tax Cost*
$1,000 Donation with the Super Credit
= $300 After Tax Cost*

*Based on Provincial and Federal Tax Rates, and assuming this is your first donation of the year

Are you eligible as a first time donor?

  • If you and your spouse (or common-law partner) have not claimed a charitable donation during the preceding five tax years, you will be considered a first-time donor.
  • Donors who last made a claim in the 2010 tax year or before, are eligible to claim the temporary super credit for donations made after March 20th, 2013.
  • Donors whose last charitable donation was claimed in 2011 will have to wait until the 2017 tax year to take advantage of the first-time donor’s Super Credit.
To learn more about charitable contributions, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.