I was just snooping around on that list on CRA's website
For a certain local congregation's 2003 tax return, the trustees/directors declared an "at arm's length" relationship to each other, but then on the 2004 tax return, they changed their minds and declared that they did not have an "at arm's length" relationship to each other. I thought that was curious, so I looked up the terminology:
Completing the Registered Charity Information Return
Sometimes registered charities will want to set aside funds in order to make certain major expenditures, such as the purchase of a building or costly equipment, at some future date. By saving the funds rather than spending them on charitable programs, the registered charity may have difficulty meeting its disbursement quota. If that is the case, the registered charity may want to take advantage of a special provision of the Income Tax Act to accumulate property. Under this provision, amounts are considered applied against the disbursement quota as they are saved rather than when they are actually spent.
To accumulate property, a registered charity must request it from us in writing. The request must specify the amount of funds the registered charity wishes to accumulate, how long the registered charity will need to accumulate the funds, and why the registered charity wishes to accumulate these funds. We will confirm permission to accumulate property in writing.
At arm's length is a tax concept describing a relationship where persons act independently of each other or who are not related. The term "not at arm's length" means persons acting in concert without separate interests or who are related.
Related persons are individuals who are related to each other by blood, marriage, or adoption. Examples of blood relatives include grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, and children. Examples of persons related by marriage include the grandparents of a spouse, the parents of a spouse, the brothers and sisters of a spouse, the spouse of a child, and the spouse of a grandchild. Generally, in determining arm's length relationships, common law partners are treated in the same way as legally married spouses. Adopted children are treated in the same way as blood-related children.
Related persons also include individuals or groups and the corporations in which they have a controlling interest. Persons related to these individuals or groups are also considered related to those corporations.
You will find more information on this subject in Interpretation Bulletin IT-419R, Meaning of Arm's Length.
So, I'm guessing that either these three guys in the position of Trustees, either are related to each other somehow, or they are claiming that they have a "controlling interest" in the charitable organization/congregation.
Can someone help us understand why they'd change from an "at arm's length" declaration, to a "not at arm's length" declaration?