Dear division presidents and zone presidents,
It has come to our attention that individual members of the CSP have claimed the Search and Rescue Volunteer Amount (SARVA) on their personal income tax returns. The SARVA, along with the Volunteer Firefighter Amount (VFA), allow an eligible individual to claim up to $3,000 on their tax return, provided they have meet the criteria. These claims are now under assessment by Canada Revenue Agency and the CSP members have been requested by CRA to provide documentation supporting the SARVA credit. Unfortunately, the CSP does NOT meet the criteria, and documentation for these members cannot be provided.
In 1967, the CSP was incorporated as a charity for the following purposes and objectives:
(a) to assist in the reduction of the incidence of ski accidents in Canada;
(b) to provide remedial and first aid services in the event of ski accidents in Canada;
(c) to promote and encourage the standardization of training, equipment and qualifications of ski patrollers in Canada
Pursuant to Section 118.06 of the Income Tax Act, the SARVA is only applicable to a search and rescue organization that is a member of the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada, the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association or the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. The CSP does not have a formal association with any of these organizations. In addition, the status of the search and rescue organization must be recognized by a provincial, municipal or public authority, which again, the CSP has not obtained. Eligible SAR volunteer services must offer a service that consist primarily of responding to and being on call for search and rescue and related emergency calls, attending meetings held by the organization and participating in required training related to search and rescue services. The stated purpose of the CSP, as defined in our incorporation documents, does not meet this criteria. The full details of volunteer SAR and firefighter amount is available HERE.
Division presidents and zone presidents are strongly encouraged to inform their members that this is a very serious matter and that they are not eligible to claim the SARVA amount as a member of the CSP.
Should a member of the CSP submit the claim on their personal income tax return, the CRA will ultimately disallow the credit claimed by the member and reassess the return. The member will then be responsible for any applicable interest and arrears on amounts that may have been owing as of April 30. Any documentation provided on CSP letterhead that supports a SARVA claim by a member will place the CSP under scrutiny from the CRA, and may find the author of such documentation under investigation for potential violations of the Income Tax Act and/or the Criminal Code of Canada.
Zone presidents – please forward this message to all patrol leaders in your zone.
Please contact myself or Pam FitzGerald (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or concerns.
Greg McCormick, CSP 895
Vice-President of Brand and Partners