NOTE: This course description has been revised and reflects updates for 2021. If you have any questions, please contact pdevents@cpaontario.ca.


  • Thurs, Nov 18 @ 8:30am to 12:30pm
  • Thurs, Nov 25 @ 8:30am to 12:30pm


The non-profit sector covers a wide spectrum of activities, including clubs, professional associations, schools, hospitals, supportive housing, health services, and other charitable works. The application of GST/HST to these activities and its recovery through rebates and input tax credits is usually far more complex than in a commercial enterprise and may vary significantly depending on the legal form of the organization. Failure to be aware of these complexities can result in lost opportunities or worse, large tax assessments against the organization.

Course Description

This seminar, delivered primarily in a lecture format, will focus on the unique rules applicable to public service bodies, including the distinction between charities and other non-profit organizations. Other exemptions which may apply to some non-profit organizations, such as health care or education, will be reviewed briefly. The seminar will also briefly examine issues related to the construction of housing and similar property by non-profit organizations. Participants will gain a greater awareness of the application of GST/HST and exempting provisions applicable to this unique sector, including common pitfalls and errors. A case study will be used to illustrate and reinforce the application of some of the complex rules applicable to a typical non-profit organization.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify key differences in the application of GST/HST to the non-profit sector from other businesses, including awareness of special exemptions, registration requirements and rebate entitlements.
  • Identify how the complex special exemptions for this sector often vary depending on the nature of the non-profit entity and whether the entity is a charity or not.
  • Distinguish between registration for rebate purposes and regular GST registration.
  • Identify major issues related to specific areas or activities, such as education & health care or those related to construction & operation of social housing and other residential programs.
  • Seminar Content

    Topics included in this course include:

  • a brief review of GST/HST basics, including relevant GST/HST place of supply rules
  • a discussion of issues related to grants, donations, and fundraising activities
  • a recap of GST/HST exemptions and certain elections unique to public service bodies
  • an explanation of GST/HST rebates, input tax credit entitlements, registration, and accounting
  • examples of common pitfalls and errors
  • a brief discussion of other exemptions applicable to NFPOs, including housing, health care, or education

Applicable For:

Although applicable to all accounting professionals, the session is focused on the needs of professionals involved in the accounting for non-profit organizations, including practitioners who provide advice to such organizations.