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Musings About MHR Canada: Excerpt #23

Written by on September 3, 2022

Have you ever been audited? Now, there’s a scary thought.

In Canada we can do our personal taxes on-line and in completing them, we don’t send in any of the documentation unless it’s asked for subsequently. So, if we’ve been truthful in submitting the e-filing, then there’s no need to sweat. In fact, several times we (my Sweet Sugar and I) have been contacted by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) – the Canadian counterpart to the IRS – and asked to submit receipts for our charitable donations. Maybe they think that an old Dutchman like me wouldn’t think of giving the amount we had claimed – us stingy folk, eh? But no sweat! We sent in the receipts and, each time, received notification that all was well.

It was a bit more unnerving when they wanted to audit Mars Hill Radio Canada’s financials. After all, this isn’t about some individual schmuck but a Christian charitable organization. I’ve always felt that as treasurer of MHRCanada submitting the documentation to the CRA, it’s very important to project that we’re honest before the Lord and man. We must glorify Him in all that we do!

The government auditor spent almost a full day with our President, Dennis Tysick. This included a very lengthy interview about the history, purpose and activities of MHRCanada as well as a trip to the Cape Vincent station where Dennis recorded a Community Bulletin Board program and sounded the Emergency Alert System. Believe it or not, the auditor was really quite friendly and helpful. Meanwhile the treasurer collected and organized the previous year’s documents of the financial statement and all invoices, gifts records, bank statements and charitable donation receipts issued to Friends of the ministry. This was the first time that Dennis and I had gone through such a thorough examining of files. And I mean thorough! Every piece of paper provided to the auditor was taken to his motel where he spent the next day or more going through them.

Now you should know that the MHRCanada treasurer has never been in the financial business sector and has no education in accounting. He has been pretty reasonable at keeping records and then providing a financial statement from the paperwork collected. That’s what the auditor looked at with his magnifying glass, fine tuned calculator and a very sharp pencil.

You wanna know what? There were errors found! At least four of them. Thankfully they were not serious and the CRA representative spent some time with us and made some good recommendations to correct the areas needing attention. It was a most worthwhile meeting and, as it turned out, a rather enjoyable experience.

And you want to know something else? We haven’t been audited since. I’m not scared by the process anymore either. I’d say, try it, you’ll like it… but I won’t. Don’t shake the bushes, but be honest in your dealings with the government. Individually and collectively.

Submitted by Hank Blok
Secretary-treasurer, Mars Hill Radio Canada

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