Imagine Canada Reacts to Budget 2013

OTTAWA, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Imagine Canada, the national umbrella for Canada's charities and public-benefit nonprofits, is very pleased that today's federal budget includes a First-Time Donor's Super Credit to encourage more Canadians to give to charity, and a commitment by the federal government to work with the charitable sector and with Imagine Canada to encourage more donations by a greater number of Canadians.

"Today's announcement is a real step in the right direction towards full implementation of the rationale underlying the Stretch Tax Credit that has been endorsed by charities from coast to coast," said President & CEO Marcel Lauzière. "The goals of the Stretch Tax Credit are twofold: to encourage more Canadians to give so that we can broaden the donor base in Canada, and to encourage those who already give, to give more. The Super Credit will help us make real progress on the first of these, generating up to $110 million a year from new donors for causes that Canadians hold dear. This is a significant investment in our communities at a time of ongoing restraint."

The proposed Super Credit would add 25 percentage points to the Charitable Tax Credit for donations made by individuals who have not claimed (and whose spouse has not claimed) the Charitable Tax Credit since 2007. This would increase the 15 percent tax credit on donations below $200 to 40 percent, and the 29 percent tax credit on donations above $200 would increase to 54 percent. The Super Credit can be claimed once, and will apply to donations up to $1000.

"We are pleased at the government's commitment to work with Imagine Canada and the charitable sector to encourage more Canadians to give more," added Lauzière. "The Commons Standing Committee on Finance heard overwhelming support for the Stretch Tax Credit, and for the goals it is meant to achieve, from charities from across Canada. We are convinced that the Stretch Tax Credit would be the most effective way of achieving the government's commitment, and we will continue to press the government to work towards the full Stretch as soon as the fiscal situation improves."

Imagine Canada is also pleased that the government intends to expand and extend the Hiring Credit for Small Business, which also applies to charities as employers. Imagine Canada will also work to ensure that charities, as employers and as providers of essential job and skills training, have full access to the proposed Canada Job Grant. Moreover, Imagine Canada looks forward to working with the federal government to develop new ideas and initiatives to further develop the social finance marketplace in Canada.

Imagine Canada will assess the full range of measures in Budget 2013 and intervene as necessary to ensure that charities and public benefit nonprofits can continue to maximize their impact here at home and around the world.

Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization whose cause is Canada's charities and nonprofits. We support and strengthen charities and nonprofits so they can, in turn, support the Canadians and communities they serve.

SOURCE: Imagine Canada

For further information:

Marnie Grona [English media]
Director, Marketing & Communications
1.800.263.1178 or 416.597.2293 x244

Amanda Mayer [French media]
Imagine Canada - Ottawa
1.800.821.8814 or 613.238.7555 x239

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