Who's eligible for a tax receipt?

Whether or not a supporter is eligible to receive a tax receipt depends on the value of their contribution, as well as the way in which they supported your event. So what kinds of gifts can and can’t be receipted? Find out below:

Cash/cheques from an individual

We can issue tax receipts to individuals who donate cash or a cheque for your event, as long as the donation is $15 or more. It’s important to note, however, that we’ll need the full name and address (including postal code) of the donor in order to give them a receipt.

Cash/cheques from a corporation

If a corporation has made a gift to CNIB at your event (assuming the gift is $15 or more) the entire gift can be tax receipted and deducted as a business promotional expense, as long as the corporation doesn’t receive any benefit for their contribution (i.e., logo recognition, co-branding, etc.). (If they do receive such benefits, the contribution would fall under the category of “sponsorship” and would not be eligible for a tax receipt.) If a tax receipt isn’t requested by the corporation, you may want to supply a gift confirmation letter for the value of the donation to act as a proof of payment.

Tickets and entrance fees

When someone purchases a ticket or pays an entrance fee to attend an event, they are receiving something (i.e., the entertainment of the event) in return for the contribution, and therefore, we’re not usually able to issue them a tax receipt. 

However, if the ticket or entrance fee price exceeds the fair market value of the event, then we can issue them a tax receipt. For example, if someone buys a ticket to a luncheon for $150 and the fair market value (including food and drinks, etc.) is $50, then a tax receipt can be issued for the difference. Follow this link for more information on fair market value.


If the sponsor receives any advertising or promotional value (i.e., logo recognition) for their contribution, they cannot receive a tax receipt from CNIB. Instead, sponsors can receive a letter of acknowledgement for the value of their sponsorship, which they can use to deduct business expenses at tax time.

Gifts in kind

If someone donates a gift in kind (i.e., a product or item) at a fundraising event, the fair market value must be established for that item so that we can issue them a tax receipt. There are three ways to do that:

  • Get a purchase invoice or other proof of purchase.
  • Have an independent third-party appraiser value the item.
  • Obtain a current price list for the item at a recognized commercial enterprise operating independently of the donor.

(Please note that tax receipts cannot be issued for the donation of personal services, including legal, entertainment, transportation or dining services.)

As per Revenue Canada guidelines, CNIB is able to provide gift-in-kind letters for the donations of goods from businesses or individuals. These letters can be used as business promotion expenses. Gift-in-kind receipts will only be issued to individuals for material goods, if the goods are new and a receipt or invoice from the purchase accompanies the request for a receipt.

Auction purchases

If someone purchases an item at an auction, we’re not able to issue them a tax receipt as they are receiving a product/item from their contribution. 

Donations of artwork or collectibles 

In order for us to issue a tax receipt for art or collectibles, the item(s) must be accompanied by the following:

  • An appraisal from an independent, third-party appraiser (please note that handwritten or emailed appraisals cannot be accepted)
  • A list of credentials for the appraiser
  • A history of the artist (if applicable) 
  • A description, picture and history of the piece of artwork including significant points of reference (if applicable)
  • The methodology used to value the artwork/collectible
  • Reference to recent market purchases used to substantiate fair market value
  • Proof of the date of acquisition of the artwork and a statement that the artwork/collectible was not purchased for purposes of donation

Donations of services

Tax receipts cannot be issued for the costs of a donated service, including special services that require hiring someone/something for an event, like an entertainer. You can, however, issue a letter to acknowledge the donation, which can be used by the donor to write off the contribution at tax time. 

Donations of merchandise/inventory

CNIB can provide the donor with a gift-in-kind letter stating the value of the gift (as long as adequate proof of value has been provided), which can be used by the donor to write off the donation at tax time.