New Annual Return Filing Requirements for Ontario Corporations

All corporations incorporated in Ontario are required to file an Annual Return with the Ontario government within six months after the end of each tax year.  This filing requirement is in addition to a requirement to file any income tax returns. The Annual Return itself includes certain information related to the corporation including the current mailing address and information about the directors and officers of the corporation.  Failure to file the Annual Return could result in financial penalties or even dissolution of the entity.

Previously, accountants were able to easily file the Annual Return for their clients with the corporation’s income tax return, but as of May 15, 2021, the process has changed and it is no longer possible for us to file the Annual Return in this manner.  Entities are now required to file the Annual Return through the Ontario Business Registry (“OBR”).

To access the OBR you will first need a “company key” which can be obtained through Service Ontario’s website. Once you have the company key, you can complete the Annual Return on the same website. There is also an option to mail the Annual Return. Alternatively, you can contact your lawyer to request that they file the Annual Return on your behalf.

In summary, if you own an Ontario corporation, it is very important that you start filing the Annual Return every year or contact your lawyer to request that they file it on your behalf.

Please contact us or your lawyer if you have any questions.