Special situations - Are you a member of a communal organization?

If you were a member of a communal organization, you might have received income from it during the year. If that is the case, this income is reported in box 26 of your T3 slip. However, since box 26 can also include other amounts (such as retiring allowances from a trust), indicating whether you are a member of a communal organization or not helps the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) determine whether this income qualifies for certain deductions or credits, or Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions. 

What is a communal organization, and do I have to file a return?

A communal organization is where members:

  • Live and work together
  • Operate a business in order to support themselves
  • Don’t own property of their own due to religious beliefs, and
  • Devote their working lives to activities of the group

The property of the communal organization and all its business agencies is considered to belong to a trust, of which members are considered beneficiaries.

The trust decides how much of its taxable income is given to its members in the congregation. As a member, your income from the trust is reported in box 26 of a T3 slip and you’ll have to file a personal tax return by April 30, if:

  • The trust allocated taxable capital gains to you 
  • You’re required to make contributions to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), or 
  • You have tax payable for the year

Where can I learn more?

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