Corporate taxation guide

Table of contents

The basics
Taxpayer rights
Laws and regulations


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.

The basics

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

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

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:
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 that apply to you. You can learn more by visiting the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website.

Read online: 
Taxpayer bill of rights guide

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

  • 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.
  • Regulatory Registry guide
    Get information about Ontario regulatory proposals and recently approved regulations.

Federal laws, regulations, consultations and announcements

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