Canadian oil industry support group, EthicalOil.org, filed a 143-page complaint with the Canada Revenue Agency accusing Tides Canada of funnelling charitable donations to highly political, and non-charitable, groups like PETA and ForestEthics.
It also said Tides Canada is distributing resources that are not arms length from the organization.
"Whether engaging in highly political campaigns or using accounting tricks to fund highly political organizations, the mounting evidence suggests Tides Canada is political to its core and violating the law. It’s time for the CRA to investigate,” said Jamie Ellerton, Executive Director, EthicalOil.org.
The Harper government announced changes to the tax regulations to penalize organizations that were overtly political but still claiming tax exempt status.
"Recently, concerns have been raised that some charities may not be respecting the rules regarding political activities. There have also been calls for greater public transparency related to the political activities of charities, including the extent to which they may be funded by foreign sources," says the government in chapter four of its 2012 budget plan.
"It is also proposed that the Income Tax Act be amended to restrict the extent to which charities may fund the political activities of other qualified donees, and to introduce new sanctions for charities that exceed the limits on political activities, or that fail to provide complete and accurate information in relation to any aspect of their annual return."