Important Changes to Annual Returns?

It has been six months with the new Ministry of Consumer & Business Services online filing system and there have been many issues with it.  That said, there have been many positives that came from it.  We can now file online Amendments, Dissolutions and other corporate documents that we previously were not able to file online. 

What you may not know is a change happened on May 15, 2021 whereby Annual Returns were no longer included in the filing of a Corporation’s T2 Income Tax Return, which usually was filed by Accountants.  The new online Business Registry now allows for businesses to do this filing with ease.  

What is an Annual Return?  This is a requirement of the Ontario government and it is essentially a snapshot of certain information, such as confirming the registered head office and directors. 

It is important to note that if there are changes to addresses or directors, the Annual Return is not the place to record those changes.  A Notice of Change must be filed for this information to be captured.  It is always best that when changes are made to a corporation in addresses, directors or officers that they are updated as soon as possible. 

What happens if you don’t file the Annual Return? It could be the assumed that the company is inactive and could result in financial penalties, and even the dissolution of your Corporation. 

What do you need to do?  You need to either confirm with your accountant that they will be taking the necessary step in order to file your Annual Return, and if they are not, makes sure that this happens. 

As part of our yearly check in’s with our corporate clients, we ask that they confirm with their accountant that this has not been filed, and if not, offer up our assistance in filing this document on their behalf.

Whatever you do, just make sure this Annual Return is filed.  The last thing you want is having your corporation dissolved and having to retain our firm to get you back into good standing.

Christine Allan, Law Clerk