Canada: Filing changes for corporate annual information returns (Ontario)

Businesses must file their annual information returns using the new Ontario Business Registry

Filing changes for corporate annual information returns

Corporations must now use the new Ontario Business Registry to file their annual information returns now that the province's temporary filing exemption has expired.

Businesses must file their annual information returns (due 19 October 2021 or later) by their respective deadlines (six months after year-end) using this new system.

Previously, corporations were granted a temporary exemption from filing these returns due on or after 15 May 2021, following the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Ontario’s tax administration (Service Ontario) announcement that these returns would no longer be accepted by the CRA.

Ontario launched the new registry on 19 October 2021.

Background

The CRA and Service Ontario announced changes to the Ontario Corporations Information Act annual return process in May 2021. Read TaxNewsFlash

Under these changes:

  • Annual return forms are no longer available for download from the CRA website.
  • Annual returns are no longer filed with the CRA as of 15 May 2021.

The changes apply to the following forms:

  • Schedule 546, Corporations Information Act Annual Return for Ontario Corporations
  • Schedule 548, Corporations Information Act Annual Return for Foreign Business Corporations
  • Form RC232, Corporations Information Act Annual Return for Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations

Following this announcement, corporations were temporarily exempt from filing their annual returns due on or after 15 May 2021 until further notice.

Filing the annual information return

A corporation that wants to file the annual return directly must register with the new Ontario Business Registry, and provide an official email address. The corporation then will receive a “corporate access key” via regular mail delivered to the registered office address on file.

A corporation can instead engage a registered intermediary (e.g., KPMG) to complete these and other required corporate filings, in which case the corporation will not have to register with the new Ontario Business Registry.

Read an October 2021 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Canada

 

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