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About the author: Brooke Billings

Charity vs NPO: Aren’t they the same thing?

Charity vs NPO: Aren’t they the same thing?
October 16, 2020

Are the terms “registered charity” and “not-for-profit organizations (NPOs)” interchangeable? How do they differ? First and foremost, we need to define each of these terms. While both a registered charity and an NPO fall under the larger description of the voluntary, not-for-profit or community benefit sector, and both operate on a not-for-profit basis, their definitions are different according to the Income Tax Act (ITA). If an organization meets the definition of a “charity” it cannot also be considered a not-for-profit organization under the ITA. This is true even if the organization is not registered or cannot be registered as a charity. It simply can not be considered a not-for-profit organization.  

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