Most registrants claim their input tax credits (ITCs) when they file their GST/HST return for the reporting period in which they made their purchases. However, you may have ITCs that you did not claim when you filed the return for the corresponding reporting period.
If so, you can claim those ITCs on a future GST/HST return as long as it is filed by the due date of the return for the last reporting period that ends within four years after the end of the reporting period in which the ITC could have first been claimed.
You are a quarterly filer and you buy office furniture in the reporting period October 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011, for which you can claim an ITC. The due date of the return for this reporting period is January 31, 2012.
The last reporting period in which you can claim an ITC for the tax you were charged on the office furniture is the reporting period October 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. The due date for this return is January 31, 2016. This means that you can claim the ITC in any return due and filed by January 31, 2016.
To support your claim for ITCs, the invoices or receipts you use must contain specific information. See the chart in Sales invoices for GST/HST registrants, for more information.
The time limit for claiming ITCs is reduced to two years for:
- listed financial institutions (other than a corporation that is deemed to be a financial institution because it has made an election to have certain supplies deemed to be financial services and that election is in effect); and
- persons with annual taxable supplies of goods and services of more than $6 million for each of the two preceding fiscal years.
However, the two-year limit does not apply to the following persons even if they fall into the second category listed above (these persons have four years to claim their ITCs):
- charities; and
- persons whose supplies of goods and services (other than financial services) during either of the two preceding fiscal years are at least 90% taxable supplies.
Under the two-year limit, you can claim your ITCs on any future return that is filed by the due date of the return for the last reporting period that ends within two years after the end of your fiscal year that includes the reporting period in which the ITC could have first been claimed.
You are a monthly filer with a fiscal year end of December 31. You buy goods in the reporting period September 1 to 30, 2011, for which you can claim an ITC. The fiscal year that includes the September 2011 return ends on December 31, 2011. You can claim the ITC on any later return for a reporting period that ends by December 31, 2013 and is filed by January 31, 2014.
Brampton, Ontario, August 21, 2012 … The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced today that on August 17, 2012, Jim Payne, of Bolton, was fined a total of $12,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton. Ontario. He pleaded guilty to five counts of failing to file personal income tax returns and seven counts of failing to file corporate income tax returns. He was given four months to pay the fine. All outstanding returns have been filed.
Mr. Payne failed to file his 2006 to 2010 personal income tax returns. In addition he failed to file the 2006 to 2008 corporate income tax returns for Pashin Holdings Inc., a real estate development company as well as the 2007 to 2010 corporate income tax returns for V2R Group Inc. which performs general contract consulting.
The preceding information was obtained from the court records.
In addition to the fines imposed by the courts, individuals or corporations convicted of failing to file tax returns are still obligated to file the tax returns and pay the full amount of taxes owing, plus interest, as well as any civil penalties that may be assessed by the CRA.
Taxpayers who have not filed returns for previous years, or who have not reported all of their income, can still voluntarily correct their tax affairs. They may not be penalized or prosecuted if they make a valid disclosure before they become aware of any compliance action being initiated by the CRA against them. These taxpayers may only have to pay the taxes owing, plus interest. More information on the Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) can be found on the CRA’s website at www.cra.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures.
Canadians and their tax advisers sometimes disagree with the CRA about the meaning of tax laws. These disagreements are normal and can be resolved.
However, over the past few years certain groups have begun publicizing incorrect and misleading advice about tax laws and the legal obligation to pay taxes.
People who accept such incorrect advice and fail to comply with the law could expose themselves to serious financial and legal problems. For more information, see Debunking tax myths.
The CRA and the Department of Finance Canada
When you’re searching government Web sites for tax-related information, your search will be easier if you’re aware of the different roles played by the CRA and by the Department of Finance Canada.
The CRA administers tax laws, but we don’t make or develop fiscal policies or tax laws.
- As a rule, the CRA Web site is where you’ll find information about what the current tax laws say and how they’re interpreted and applied.
- As a rule, the Department of Finance Canada Web site is where you’ll find information about proposed changes to tax laws, proposed tax cuts or increases, studies about the effects of taxation, and possible future tax policies. You may want to consult that department’s news releases and speeches.
- Details of legislation proposed or enacted during the current session of Parliament are available on the Parliamentary Web site.
Tax legislation is also developed by individual provinces and territories (Provincial and Territorial Governments page, Canada Site).
You may also wish to consult the Government of Canada Newsroom and the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development News Room.
Knowing when the return is due, and more importantly when the tax is payable is important to avoid costly interest and penalties.
Be aware that the due date for filing is different than the day the corporation must pay it’s outstanding tax bill.
Corporate Filing Due Date
The due date to file your corporate income tax return is six (6) months following your corporation’s year end.
For example, if you have a
- December 31st year-end –> Return is due June 30th.
- March 31st year-end –> Return is due September 30th.
When Corporate Taxes Must be Paid
Existing corporations are required to pay tax by installments throughout the year if their income tax bill is more than $3,000. New corporations are exempt from the installment requirements in their first year.
If you have a new corporation, or if you will have a balance owing, knowing your due date will help ensure you avoid costly penalties.
Due Date for CCPC
The due date for a Canadian controlled private corporation, claiming the small business deduction and whose taxable income is less than $500,000, is three months following the corporations’ year-end.
- December 31st year-end –> Balance is payable by March 31st.
- June 30th year-end –> Balance is payable September 30th.
For all other corporations, the due date is two months following their year-end.
The penalty for remitting taxes late is 5% of the unpaid amount and 1% per month on any past due amounts.
A tax bill of $10,000 can result in a penalty of $500 if remitted late.
When To Meet With Your Accountant
It’s important to plan filing your corporate tax return before the end of the corporation’s fiscal year.
If you have a fiscal year-end that does not fall on December 31, you should meet with your accountant around December 31st to ensure that your annual tax slips are prepared and filed on time.
If you’re looking for help filing your corporate tax returns and related tax-slips, please give us a call at 905-858-0775 to get started. We can help you reduce the amount of tax you will pay by taking full advantage of the corporate structure.
1. What is a registered charity?
A registered charity is a charitable organization, public foundation, or private foundation that was established in Canada and is resident in Canada. It is operated exclusively for charitable purposes (i.e., the relief of poverty, the advancement of education, the advancement of religion, or other purposes that benefit the community in a way the courts have said are charitable) and must devote its resources to charitable activities. A registered charity has received a registration number from the Canada Revenue Agency and is exempt from paying tax on its revenue. It can issue official donation receipts for income tax purposes for gifts that it receives.
2. How do I verify if a charity is registered?
Ask the charity for its registration number, and confirm its status by consulting the CRA Charities Listings, or by calling the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-267-2384.
3. What is the main difference between a non-profit organization and a registered charity?
Registered charities must fit into one of four categories of charitable purposes: the relief of poverty, the advancement of education, the advancement of religion, or other purposes that benefit the community in a way the courts have said are charitable. Non-profit organizations may not fit into one of the four categories of charitable purposes but may have purposes such as social welfare, civic improvement, pleasure, or recreation. Non-profit organizations cannot issue official donation receipts for gifts that they receive.
4. Can a registered charity lend its registration number to another registered or non-registered charity?
No. Under no circumstances should a registered charity lend its registration number to another organization for receipting purposes. A charity that lends its registration number risks losing its charitable registration. A donor who accepts a falsified official donation receipt will risk having the tax credit disallowed and may be subject to fines.
5. Is a charity required to issue an official donation receipt?
No. However, the Canada Revenue Agency advises charities to notify potential donors of any circumstances in which they will not issue an official donation receipt. Donors cannot claim a charitable tax credit or deduction unless they have an official donation receipt.
6. To whom must an official donation receipt be addressed?
Generally, the official donation receipt can only be issued to the true donor of the gift to a charity. If a donation is made by a cheque in both spousal names, an official donation receipt can be issued in either name. If a corporation sends a donation to a charity, the official donation receipt can be made to the corporation owner only if he has sent a personal cheque. If the corporation is donating money that has been collected from its employees, and there is a written declaration to prove this, the charity can issue the official donation receipt in each donor’s name.
7. How can I replace a lost official donation receipt?
If you lose your official donation receipt, you can ask the charity to issue a replacement. You should receive a replacement receipt which contains all the required information plus a note to the effect that it “cancels and replaces receipt No. (the serial number of the lost receipt is inserted here)
8. If the charitable status of a charity to which I have recently made a donation has been revoked, can I still claim my tax credit?
If the organization was registered during the time of your donation, and if your receipts genuinely reflect the amount you gave, you can still claim your tax credit. Please note that when a charity is revoked, the organization may donate its assets to another eligible donee; otherwise, the assets are collected as tax.
9. What if I get something in return for my donation?
When a registered charity provides you with something of value in return for making a donation, the eligible amount of your donation for income tax purposes is generally reduced. This amount will be reflected on your official donation receipt. For example: You donate $1,000 to the Anytown Ballet Company, which is a registered charity. In gratitude, the company provides you with three ballet tickets worth $50 each, for a total value of $150. These tickets are considered an advantage of $150. The eligible amount of your donation for calculating your tax credit is therefore $850 ($1,000 – $150).
10. Can a charity return a donation?
In most cases, a registered charity cannot return a donor’s gift. At law, a gift transfers ownership of the money or other gifted property from the donor to the charity. Once the transfer is made, the charity is obliged to use the gift in carrying out its charitable purposes. On occasion, though, a charity may be obliged by law to return gifts to donors. This can happen, for instance, when a charity asks the public to contribute to a special project and later events make it impossible to carry out the project.
11. Do I have to claim donations the same year that I make them?
No. You can carry forward any donations you do not claim in the current year and claim them on your return for any of the next five years, but you can only claim donations once. You have to claim tax credits for gifts you carried forward from a previous year before you claim tax credits for gifts in the current year. If you are claiming a carryforward, attach a note to your return indicating the year of the return in which you submitted the official donation receipt, the portion of the eligible amount you are claiming this year, and the amount you are carrying forward.
13. I’ve been invited to participate in a donation program that will make me a profit. Is it safe to participate?
There are serious risks associated with this type of program – See What are donation schemes and why should I avoid them? to learn more.
14. How do I report charity fraud?
Report fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501. You can also call the CRA’s toll free numbers in Canada: 1-800-267-2384 (English) or 1-888-892-5667 (bilingual).
15. Is it safe to donate online?