Volunteers are the lifeblood of Canada’s charities. While promoting financial giving is important, tax policy should also encourage Canadians to give of their time, energy, and passion – without which many charities would not succeed. Such a policy would strengthen Canada’s charities and help foster a culture of volunteering.
There are various models of recognizing volunteering intax law that should be explored. For example, to incentivize youth volunteering, a refundable tax credit is more likely to be successful than a non-refundable one.
Regardless of the parameters, any policy should require a minimum number of volunteer hours completed, a cap on the number of hours that may be claimed, and simple but effective accountability requirements for charities.
Consideration could also be given to limiting the credit to those who volunteer for organizations that provide essential supports to the most vulnerable.