On October 19, 2021, the Ontario government launched a new Ontario Business Registry. This new online registry allows businesses and not-for-profit corporations to complete a wide range of transactions through the new online registry including incorporation, registering a new business name, dissolving an existing business as well as filing the annual information returns. It also recognized Chartered Professional Accountants as service providers in this field.
Prior to May 15, 2021, certain Ontario corporation information returns were required to be filed with CRA as part of the annual T2 Corporation Income Tax Return. These forms included the following:
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.
Effective May 15, 2021, CRA and Service Ontario announced that these annual returns would no longer be filed as part of the T2 Corporation Income Tax Return and would be removed from commercial tax preparation software. A new online business registry was being developed for all businesses (including not-for-profit) that are registered, incorporated, or licensed to carry on business in Ontario. While this business registry was under development, Ontario corporations that would have had an annual information return filing deadline on or after May 15, 2021 were exempted from this filing requirement.
Businesses that have an Ontario annual information return due on or after October 19, 2021 must now file their annual information return directly online through the new Ontario Business Registry.
For Ontario corporations with share capital, the annual information return must be filed within six months of their tax year-end. For example, a corporation with an April 30, 2021 year-end must file the annual information return by October 31, 2021. Corporations that file annual information returns after the prescribed deadline may be fined a late filing fee and may be subject to cancellation by the Ontario Ministry. Because of current access issues in the program, we are unsure what the Ontario Ministry will do with late filings and non-filings.
Information on how to file the annual information return through the new Ontario Business Registry can be found on the Service Ontario website. A “company key” will have to be obtained in order to activate the Service Ontario account and access the entity’s profile. Once the Service Ontario account has been activated, an entity will be able to file their annual information return online.
For more information, please visit the Service Ontario website or call 416-314-8880 (Toronto)/1-800-361-3223.
You can obtain the company key and make any updates to the registry and file the annual information returns yourself. However, we can provide assistance if necessary. Please contact your IMPACT CPAs advisor for further guidance and to discuss your particular situation.
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