Corporate taxation guide

Table of contents

Introduction
The basics
Taxpayer rights
Laws and regulations
Other resources

Introduction

When you operate a business in Ontario, you are responsible for charging, collecting, and remitting the appropriate taxes. Your business type, location and legal structure will determine which taxes will apply to your business, and what you will need to submit. This guide will give you an overview of the different taxes that may affect an incorporated business and provide you with information on tools, programs and services that can help you meet your business tax obligations.

To learn more about business taxes in general, you can read our taxation guide.

The basics

All resident corporations must file a corporation income tax (T2) return every tax year even if there are no taxes payable. You must file a corporate tax return even if you are a:

  • Non-profit organization
  • Tax-exempt corporation
  • Inactive corporation

You have to file a return for a non-resident corporation if, at any time in the tax year, your corporation:

  • Conducted business in Canada
  • Had a taxable capital gain
  • Disposed of taxable Canadian property

Read Online:
T2 corporation income tax guide

Most corporations can file their return electronically. Filing online is mandatory for certain types of corporations with annual gross revenues over $1 million.

Read online:
Corporation Internet filing

It is also important to know which taxes to charge, collect and remit on the goods and services you sell. In Ontario, you may need to set up a business number for Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

Business number

Your business number is your single account number for dealing with the federal government regarding taxes, payroll, import/export and other activities. If you plan to hire employees, or if you will be importing and/or exporting products or services, you must register for a business number.

If you sell goods and services in Ontario, you may need a business number to charge, collect and remit the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Most businesses that make less than $30,000 in any 12 month period are not required to register for HST; however, you can register voluntarily and claim input tax credits. Speak with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for more information.

Contact CRA:
1-800-959-5525
Business number registration

Online requests for business

You can use the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account to manage some of your taxes online.

Read online:
My business account

Taxpayer rights

As a small business, there are taxpayer rights and commitments that apply to you. You can learn more by visiting the Canada Revenue Agency Website.

Read online:
CRA - Taxpayer Bill of Rights

To learn more about your rights as a taxpayer, you can take advantage of the following resources:

Objections and appeals

You can dispute tax assessments or taxes imposed on your business under the Income Tax Act through CRA’s Appeals Branch.

Read online:
Objection and appeal rights under the Income Tax Act

Rulings and interpretation program

Read through resources and publications that explain the rulings and technical interpretations of the Income Tax Act.

Read online:
Income tax rulings and interpretations

Voluntary disclosures program

If you need to correct incomplete or incorrect information on previous dealings with CRA, you can provide the corrected information without penalty or prosecution through this program.

Read online:
Voluntary disclosures program

Laws and regulations

Government acts and legislation

The tax-related acts and legislation covered in this guide include, but are not limited to the following:

If you are interested in reading more about laws and regulations that could apply to your small business, or if you would like to stay up to date on new legislation, you can refer to the following resources:

Provincial laws, regulations, consultations and announcements

Federal laws, regulations, consultations, and announcements

Other resources

Managing

From day-to-day operations to long-term planning, learn how to manage your business efficiently.

Associations

If you are interested in finding an association, use our secondary market research service request and have us search for one based on your needs.

You can also find books, magazines and other relevant print material at business service organizations in your community. To locate a Canada Business Ontario (CBO) community partner, contact us at 1-888-576-4444.