Annual return versus tax return – they are not the same thing!

The filing of an annual return (AR) often gets confused with the filing of an income tax return. The 2 are fundamentally different.

  • An annual return is a document you must file annually with Corporations Canada for your federal corporation, so that it can remain active and in compliance with the corporate law.

    It also allows us to keep our online database of federal corporations up to date and accurate. Learn more on the integrity and reliability of your public corporate information.

  • An income tax return is a document you must file annually with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for your corporation. It is completely separate from any filing obligations you may have with Corporations Canada.

Why do you have to file your annual return?

Your corporation may be dissolved if it fails to file its AR because we will assume that it is not operating. When your corporation is dissolved, you can no longer conduct business. For example, if your business is dissolved (in other words, legally closed) and you have requested a loan with the bank, it may be refused.

When do you have to file your annual return?

Every corporation must submit an annual return every year to Corporations Canada within 60 days of its anniversary date.

The anniversary date of a corporation is the date on which the corporation was incorporated, amalgamated with another corporation or continued into an act administered by Corporations Canada


How do you find out when your annual return is due?

Corporations Canada will send a personalized reminder notice indicating when your AR is due to be filed. If you do not file on time, we will send a default notice approximately 90 days after your anniversary date.

File your annual return now

Ways to file and pay

Business and not-for-profit corporations can file their annual return:

  • Online – $12
  • By email or mail – $40

Cooperatives can file:

  • By email or mail – $12

For more information, visit Services, fees and processing times.