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The WE Charity is in hot water again, this time with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which has levied penalties against it for improperly issuing donation receipts of $1.8 million. The charity has filed an appeal with the tax court and a trial date must now be scheduled. The donation receipts were issued in connection with so-called “WE Day” events – stadium-sized, one day events held by the charity in cities around the world to celebrate student volunteer efforts. There was no charge to students or other supporters who attended: they earned their tickets by participating in the charity’s programs. The charity’s website billed the gatherings as “star-studded events,” featuring megastars, motivational speakers and entertainment. The dispute involves four WE Day events held in Canada between 2010 and 2012. The CRA imposed penalties of five per cent on the disputed receipts of $1.8 million – penalties of only $90,000, though the alleged donors may have enjoyed tax savings of up to $800,000. The disputed tax receipts represent more than five per cent of all receipts issued by the charity during the period.

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