Feds yank charity status for Biathlon Canada

OTTAWA — The Canada Revenue Agency is revoking the charitable status of Biathlon Canada because it issued almost $26 million in receipts for questionable tax-shelter arrangements.

OTTAWA — The Canada Revenue Agency is revoking the charitable status of Biathlon Canada because it issued almost $26 million in receipts for questionable tax-shelter arrangements.

The sports body had been a registered amateur athletic association authorized to issue tax receipts for donations.

The agency filed notice of its decision on the Canada Gazette website.

Joanne Thomson, executive director of the sports body, had no comment on the announcement.

The revenue agency has revoked the status of a number of charities in recent months because of tax-shelter deals which it says don’t qualify under the provisions of the Income Tax Act.

Biathlon Canada promotes the sport and offers training programs and support for athletes, coaches and officials.

It’s not clear how the revocation will affect the sport, or the athletes.

Sport Canada had no immediate comment, nor did the Canadian Olympic Committee.

The revenue agency was terse in its announcement.

“For issuing more than $25.9 million in donation receipts for abusive transactions arising from its role as a participant in tax shelter arrangements that, in the opinion of the Canada Revenue Agency, do not qualify as gifts, notice is hereby given … that I propose to revoke the registration of the organization,” said Cathy Hawara, director general of the charities directorate.

“The revocation of registration is effective on the date of publication of this notice.”

Last June, the agency revoked the status of the Canadian Lacrosse Association over $60.7 million in questionable receipts.

Officials said at the time they were reviewing all tax shelter-related donation arrangements, “for example, schemes that typically promise donors tax receipts worth more than the actual amount of the donation.”

It said it planned to audit every participating charity, promoter, and investor.

In 2009, Little League Baseball Canada lost its status over $82 million in tax-shelter-related donations.