Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Good news, maybe, we'll see

The implications of today's article in the Globe and Mail about charitable status are far-reaching. The story itself is about the possibility that Revenue Minister John McCallum may loosen or change the regulations to allow foundation status for The Walrus, whose entire financing model hinges on being able to transfer money from one charity to its own (the famous $5 million). That's very good news.

It seems impossible that the policy would only benefit The Walrus, however. Let's assume that "the minister is in the midst of considering" a policy change (to quote the unnamed staffer quoted by the Globe) means what it seems to mean. The ripple effect among dozens of cultural and literary magazines would be immediate. We could see them re-apply for status that had been turned down and becoming able to offer charitable tax receipts for donations that could be channelled directly to the magazine. Previously, the principal function of a foundation had to be anything but publishing, which could only be an adjunct to "public education". (See posts past).

Even more important, it would take the heat off the magazines which already enjoy this status but have to defend it periodically from Canada Revenue zealots who want to take the status away . Once it becomes permissible for magazines to be not-for-profit charities, many more of them of them will be and it will become a commonplace. Here's hoping.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be good news for a lot of magazines, no doubt. But the question is: how does a magazine, whose premiere issue poked Prime Minister Martin in the eye, get the government minister to personally overturn the rules? That's a story I'd love to hear...

6:48 am  

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