Table of contents
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, including those that may apply to sole proprietorships and partnerships, you can read our taxation guide.
All corporations that are based in Canada 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 your corporation based outside of Canada if, at any time in the tax year, your corporation:
- Conducted business in Canada
- Had a taxable capital gain in Canada
- Disposed of taxable Canadian property
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.
Corporation Internet filing
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.
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.
My business account
As a small business, there are taxpayer rights that apply to you. You can learn more by visiting the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website.
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.
Rulings and interpretation program
Read through resources and publications that explain the rulings and technical interpretations of the Income Tax Act.
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.
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:
- Corporations Tax Act (Provincial)
- Taxation Act, 2007 (Provincial)
- Income Tax Act (Provincial)
- Income Tax Act (Federal)
- Corporations Returns Act (Federal)
- Excise Tax Act (Federal)
- Employment Insurance Act (Federal)
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
- Service Ontario e-Laws
Search government of Ontario laws and regulations by keyword.
- Ontario Gazette
Learn about a variety of Ontario announcements, including provincial laws and regulations.
- ServiceOntario - regulatory registry
Get information about Ontario regulatory proposals and recently approved regulations.
Federal laws, regulations, consultations and announcements
- Justice laws website
Search federal laws by keyword.
- Canada Gazette
Find announcements about new and upcoming laws and regulations.
- Consulting with Canadians
Learn about new and upcoming proposals and participate in the consultation process.