What is an Ontario Annual Return?

ontario annual return

Originally Published on Feb 28, 2023

The Ontario Annual Return was introduced in October of 2021 with the updated Ontario Business Registry system within the Province of Ontario.  Prior to May of 2021, the updated corporate information was provided with CRA as part of the yearly corporate tax submission.

The Ontario Annual Returns are due for profit, professional and not-for-profit corporations under their prospective acts of the Corporations Act, Ontario Business Corporations Act and the Not For Profit Corporations Act.

The Ontario Annual Return is a document filing required by all Ontario corporations to submit an updating listing of the corporate details with the province of Ontario.  This is mandatory for each existing corporation, even when no changes have occurred since the previous annual return submission.

When is the Ontario Annual Return Due?

The Annual Return is required within six months of the corporation’s fiscal year end.  This date is often determined by either the directors of the corporation or by the tax specialist overseeing the corporate tax filings.

As an example, if the corporation has determined its year end to be March 31, the Annual Return is required by September 30th of the same year.  The annual return is not connected to the date of incorporation at all.  If you are not sure of the year end date, the Revenue Canada agency should be able to assist you if they have a date on record and be able to provide this to you.

annual return filing

Do I Still File an Annual Return With the Corporate Tax Return?

No, historically you had to provide an update to your Ontario record by filing the annual return information along with the T2 corporation income tax return. Now, the filing is submitted directly to the province, separate from the tax return filings.

What Corporation Information is Required for the Ontario Annual Return?

The information required is as follows:

  •  Name of the Corporation
  • Company Key (optional item)
  • Year of filing
  • Naics Code
  • Description of Business Activity
  • Complete registered office address change if applicable
  • Complete corporate director and officer change if applicable
  • Provide name of person authorizing submission
  • Official email address
  • Authorizing person’s position (eg. current director/officer or other person having knowledge)

Is the Annual Return Filing Mandatory?

Yes, to maintain compliance with the province of Ontario, you must file the Annual Return and if the annual return is not completed, the province can cancel the corporation for non-compliance.  It is important to keep the records with the government up to date and accurate for a corporation.

Will I Be Notified to File the Annual Return Requirement?

The Province of Ontario does not maintain a record of when a corporation has selected its fiscal year end, so there isn’t any support available for notifying or reminding you when the return is due to be filed.

Ontario Business Central, as an intermediary with the province of Ontario, also does not have any awareness of when your Annual Return is originally required.

If you choose to complete an Ontario Annual Return corporation online filing with us, we will maintain a date record of when the filing was completed and send yearly email notifications to remind you of the next annual return filing requirement.

Does This Replace the Corporate Tax Filing With Canada Revenue Agency?

Prior to 2021, along with the corporate tax return filing submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency, you would also update the corporate records to include any changes that had happened since the previous tax season.  This kept the tax records up to date with the federal government, however many corporations fell behind in maintaining their record keeping with the province as to any changes that occurred.

Does the Annual Return Replace the Initial Notice?

The Initial Notice is due within 60 days from the Ontario incorporation date to confirm the details and update any changes to the address, directors or inclusion of officers to the corporate record.  There is no change in the requirement to file the Initial Notice and it is also mandatory.  The corporation risks a non-compliance status if not filed and the corporation may be cancelled by the province after the 60 day requirement of filing from incorporation.

Does the Annual Return Replace the Need For a Notice of Change Filing?

The Ontario Notice of Change also known as the Form 1 or NOC is a separate filing from the Annual Return.  The Notice of change allows corporations to complete an update to their corporate record as it happens.  If during the year in between the Annual Return submission you have a change to an address whether personal or business, a change to directors or officers, you must file the Notice of Change to reflect that change and along with your fiscal responsibilities file the Annual Return when required.

What if the Corporation’s Home Jurisdiction is Outside of Ontario?

If a corporation was incorporated outside of Ontario, the Ontario Annual Return is not applicable.  This is also the case for corporations that have a home jurisdiction outside of Ontario where the corporation has completed either a Form 2 Initial Notice as a domestic foreign corporation or an Extra Provincial Licence as a foreign corporation where the corporation is  registered in the province of Ontario.  The Ontario Annual Return is only required for Ontario Corporations exclusively.

Is There One Place Where I Can File and Keep Track of All Change Filings?

Yes, Ontario Business Central offers easy access to update any of these corporate change records when required in one convenient place.  At the same time, we will keep track of the necessary time requirements to complete the yearly Annual Return.  Everyone gets frustrated by bills and other obligations, and we work very hard to take the corporate record filings off your list of items to keep track of.

Ontario Business Central has been assisting those in the legal, accounting, entrepreneurial and start up communities for 30 years.

We assist firms and individuals to start, change, cancel and search any business in Ontario with the easiest online platform available.  We also have the privilege of being an intermediary with the province.  As an industry leader, you can depend on us to assist you to process any filings you wish to do with the Province of Ontario and to have support through chat and live phone support Monday To Friday 9 am to 5pm EST.