Official Receipts Issued by Registered Charities

Only receipts issued for income tax purposes allow donors to claim a deduction or credit on their income tax return. The words “OFFICIAL RECEIPT” must appear on such receipts.

Required information

The following information must be clearly written on official receipts issued by an organization:

  • the registration number (that is, the Business Number [BN] assigned by the Canada Revenue Agency [CRA]), in the case of a charity;
  • the organization's name and address;
  • the sequence number of the receipt;
  • the place and date of issue;
  • the date the gift was received;
  • a brief description of the property (for a gift in kind) and, if applicable, the name and address of the appraiser;
  • the donor's name and address;
  • the value of the gift, that is, the amount given or, for a gift in kind, the fair market value (FMV) of the property at the time of the gift;
  • a description and the amount of any advantage received in consideration for the gift or as partial consideration for the gift; 
  • the eligible amount of the gift.

Each official receipt must bear the signature of the person authorized by the organization to acknowledge receipt of donations.

  • A receipt for a gift received from another organization must bear the words “NOT AN OFFICIAL RECEIPT.” The same words must appear on receipts issued to donors who are not claiming tax benefits for their gifts. 
  • If a charity is registered by the CRA, it is automatically deemed to be registered with Revenu Québec on the same date. Official receipts issued by the charity on that date are therefore considered valid, unless Revenu Québec has denied, cancelled or revoked its registration
  • An official receipt can be issued only when a pledge is honoured.
  • In the case of a pledge registered with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications for purposes of the tax credit for cultural patronage, a receipt must be issued to the donor for all the gifts made during a calendar year to fulfill the pledge.
  • If an organization receives an option to purchase property as a gift, the value of the gift corresponds to one of the following amounts: 
    • if the organization exercises the option by purchasing the property, the amount by which the FMV of the property at the time the option is exercised exceeds the total of the amounts paid to the donor to obtain the option and to purchase the property, as long as that amount does not exceed 80% of the FMV of the property at that time,
    • if the organization disposes of the purchase option, the amount by which the lesser of the FMV of the property at that time and the FMV of any consideration (other than a non-qualifying security) that the organization receives for the disposition of the option exceeds the amount paid to the donor to obtain the option.

Replacement or cancellation of official receipts

If an official receipt has to be replaced, the new receipt must have a note to the effect that it “REPLACES RECEIPT NO.” (followed by the sequence number of the original receipt).

Invalid receipts must be marked “CANCELLED” and kept with their duplicates. We consider a receipt to be invalid if the information it contains is illegible, inaccurate or in any way ambiguous.

See Receipts for Returned Property if property is returned to a donor after an official receipt has been issued. 

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