20 Dec 2013

Raise your hand if you’re surprised to hear Albertans are the most generous Canadians.

I didn’t think you’d move your hand either.

A Fraser Institute report released Monday revealed Albertans give the most money to charity. Titled Generosity in Canada and the United States looked at 2010 tax returns to track how much money people give to charities.




The average charitable donation made by Albertans during the 2010 tax year was as high as $2,289, more than the residents of any other province.

While Albertans ranked third for donating a percentage of their incomes, the executive director of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations says the report may not show the whole picture.

“People might be donating all kinds of things that we”re not capturing,” Katherine Van Kooy told the Huffington Post. “There are lots of people who are quite generous or donate quite regularly. For example, they buy food and put it in bins to donate at the Food Bank. You don’t get a charitable donation (receipt) for that.”

No, we don’t always think about the tax receipts we get to collect when we’re trying to help people less fortunate than us.

But it’s important to remember that we can claim eligible donations as a tax deduction.

Super credit for first-time donations

We’re right in the middle of the season of giving. And since the year is coming to a close, it’s a good time to donate to charity and get a little reduction on your tax bill.

Especially if you’ve never claimed a charitable donation before.

The federal government introduced a first-time donor’s super credit this year, giving you an extra 25 per cent non-refundable tax credit when you make your first claim with charitable donation.

This means you get a 40 per cent credit for up to $200 in cash donations and a 54 per cent credit for the part of cash donations that exceeds $200 but is not more than $1,000.

Remember, only donations made to registered charities and qualified donees are eligible.

Check the Canada Revenue Agency’s Charity Lists for registered organizations.

Need some help?

A1 Accounting, a Calgary accounting and bookkeeping firm, is here to assist you with your taxes and planning. We specialize in personal taxes and small-business accounting and financial services. Contact one of our tax specialists and we can help you optimize the tax benefits and credits available to self-employed individuals and small businesses.

Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 403-226-8297.