To claim charitable tax credits on your Canadian income tax return, your donations must have been made to a "qualified donee," and you need an official receipt for each donation. This Government of Canada page has more information on these credits and how to claim them.
The charity will not automatically benefit if you claim charitable tax credits. If you'd like to use your credits to benefit the charity, you can adjust your giving plans based on the anticipated value of your credits (try this tax credit calculator on RC Forward).
Most of the charities Giving What We Can recommends are eligible for official Canadian donation receipts if you donate via RC Forward (a project of Rethink Charity Foundation, a registered Canadian charity BN 79318 7881 RR 0001). You'll receive an official donation receipt for any gift you make through RC Forward.
You can also donate to any of the EA Funds via RC Forward, by following the instructions on this page.
RC Forward also has funds. Its Global Health Fund and Human Empowerment Fund are both advised by GiveWell, its Animal Welfare Fund is advised by Animal Charity Evaluators, and its Climate Change Fund is advised by Founders Pledge. For more information on its Long-Term Future Fund, reach out to email@example.com.
RC Forward can generally facilitate the donation of cryptocurrencies and appreciated shares, and can also answer your questions about Canadian employee donation matching (for example, through Benevity).
Giving What We Can members are encouraged to report their donations made via RC Forward on their Pledge Dashboard, so that they can track their pledge.
You can claim eligible amounts of gifts, up to a limit of 75% of your net income. Charitable tax credits are typically worth 20% to 40% of the amount of donations you claim, and can be worth up to 50%. Their value depends on the amount of donations you are claiming, how much income tax you owe in the year you claim them, your province of tax residency, and your income.
To estimate the value of your credits, try the RC Forward tax credit calculator (based on 2020 tax rates).
Charitable tax credits are a type of non-refundable credit, which means they can only be used to reduce taxes owed. This Government of Canada page has more information. Because you can save your official donation receipts and claim charitable tax credits up to five years after you donated, you can maximise their value by claiming them strategically.