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Tax Receipt - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can my tax receipt be made out in someone else’s name?

        CRA reference 1/  CRA reference 2 

A registered charity can only issue an official donation receipt to the individual or organization that made the gift, and the name and address of the donor must appear on the receipt. A charity cannot issue an official donation receipt in the name of anyone but the true donor.


  • Does my church have to issue me a tax receipt for my donation(s) at a specific time?

        CRA reference

There is no requirement in the Income Tax Act for a registered charity to issue an official donation receipt or that it issue a receipt within a certain timeframe.

The Canada Revenue Agency suggests that registered charities issue receipts by February 28 of the calendar year that follows the year of the donation. This allows individual taxpayers to claim their donations on their annual income tax returns.

A registered charity may issue receipts periodically through the year or, for cash donations, issue one cumulative receipt for the year.

A separate receipt must be issued for each non-cash donation.


  • What information does my tax receipt have to have on it?

         CRA reference

  1. a statement that it is an official receipt for income tax purposes

  2. the name and address of the charity as on file with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

  3. a unique serial number

  4. the registration number issued by the CRA

  5. the location where the receipt was issued (city, town, municipality)

  6. the date or year the gift was received

  7. the date the receipt was issued

  8. the full name, including middle initial, and address of the donor

  9. the amount of the gift

  10. the amount and description of any advantage received by the donor

  11. the eligible amount of the gift

  12. the signature of an individual authorized by the charity to acknowledge gifts

  13. the name and website address of the CRA



  • Can my tax receipt be emailed to me?

        CRA reference

Yes. However a registered charity should take the following precautions to protect its electronic receipts:

  1. receipts should be in a read-only or non-editable format

  2. receipts should be protected from hackers through the use of appropriate software

  3. the document should be encrypted and signed with an electronic signature

  4. the use of a secure electronic signature should be kept under the control of a responsible individual authorized by the charity

  5. copies of email-issued receipts must be retained by the charity



  • Can my tax receipt be printed from a computer?

        CRA reference

Computer-generated official donation receipts are acceptable as long as:

  1. they have all the required information

  2. they are clear and easy to read

  3. the data on them cannot be altered and is protected from unauthorized access  

  4. To protect computer-generated receipts from unauthorized access, registered charities should ensure that: the computer system used to store the receipts is password protected and restricts entry to and modification of donor contribution records

  5. donor records are stored on non-erasable media, such as CD-ROMs or printouts, with copies kept off-site for recovery purposes

  6. hard copies of issued receipts can be printed on request



  • Does my tax receipt have to be manually signed?

        CRA reference

A facsimile signature can be used under the following conditions:

  1. all copies of receipts are distinctively imprinted (usually by a commercial printer) with the name, address, and registration number of the charity

  2. receipts are serially numbered by a printing press or numbering machine

  3. all unused receipt forms are kept at the registered charity's Canadian address (this address must be the address recorded with the Canada Revenue Agency)

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