Corpcentre's Blog

July 23, 2009

Annual Requirements of your Canadian Corporation

When your corporation was first established, you were obligated to file certain documents including the Articles of Incorporation. However, in order to maintain your status whereby your corporation benefits from the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA), there are certain necessary requirements that must be fulfilled on an annual or periodic basis.

Every registered corporation is responsible for filing an Annual Return. The information contained in this return confirms that your corporation is complying with certain requirements, as outlined when you filed for incorporation. Within 60 days of the corporation’s anniversary, the annual date must be filed. The anniversary date appears on the corporation’s Certificate of Incorporation. Any of the company’s directors, or an agent authorized by the directors, may sign and file the Annual Return.

It is imperative to maintain the good standing of your corporation. Failure to file your Annual Return may result in the company’s dissolve by legal order.

If your corporation should move to a new address within the same province or territory, this address change must be registered with the governing agencies within 15 days of the move. Similarly, a change of mailing address of the corporation (not necessarily a physical move of the company) must also be registered. If your corporation moves to a different province or territory, you must amend your Articles of Incorporation.

Changes to the Directors of the corporation must also be registered. These changes include:

  • Appointment of new directors;
  • End of term of a director;
  • Change of address of a director.

It is important to know that the names of a corporation’s directors are public information and, therefore, the information must remain current. If the number of directors changes from the original Articles of Incorporation, this change must be registered.

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July 14, 2009

Canadian economy not to be outdone – Part I

The International Monetary Fund, which released a report at the same time as the G8 summit convened, believes Canada is capable of the most improvement in her economy for 2009 and 2010 compared to almost all industrialized nations. Though some leaders at last week’s G8 summit are pushing for more stimulus money, other economic experts don’t think they will be necessary in Canada.

Despite expectations of a slight shrinking for the world’s economy this year (1.4%), IMF has a positive outlook for the end of the recession in 2010, calling for 2.5% global economic growth next year, up more than .5% from their predictions last April.

Other industrialized countries’ economies are expected to decrease by 3.8% this year, in comparison to Canada, only expected to drop by 2.3%. Only .8% growth is predicted for the US for 2010, half that of Canada’s forecasted gain of 1.6%, which is only second in line to Japan’s 1.7%. India and China, top consumers of Canadian raw materials are seen as leading in growth for 2010, set to increase by 6.5% and 8.5%.

Even though they feel that emergence from the recession will be on the slow side, “Financial conditions have improved more than expected, owing mainly to public intervention, and recent data suggest that the rate of decline in economic activity is moderating,” the IMF commented.

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July 6, 2009

Leaders ask governments to ease up on smaller Canadian companies

In a poll taken by COMPAS Inc., Canadian CEOs say the government should change its regulations and tax policies on small businesses.

After the C.D. Howe Institute issued a report calling for making taxes and regulations lighter for small businesses, CEOs polled largely agreed so that small business can have room to expand.
“Government by its very nature attempts to solve all problems with regulation and complexity. In today’s regulatory climate, it certainly is difficult for small companies to survive,” said one CEO polled.

The majority of those polled agreed with simplifying the laws regarding capital gains rollovers so they could be more easily reinvested in small companies. They also supported changing employment laws like maternity and sick leave. “Small businesses are not the banks,” wrote one participant in the survey.

There was some but not universal support for the government to implement a flat corporate tax rate for all businesses. Those CEOs supporting the flat rate argued that small businesses lack the resources and staff to keep current with the regulations and cannot afford the time investment away from their main businesses as much as large companies might be able to.

There was also a difference of opinion among the CEOs polled regarding the federal small business deduction, as to whether lowering taxes on a company’s first $400,000 of income discourages reinvestment as they would rather bonus out on that money. One respondent felt their business’ growth was not stunted by the ceiling. “The issue is more one of the tax rate on capital gains versus the tax rate on personal income,” he replied.

All in all the respondents to the survey turned out to have a generally negative attitude toward government regulations and higher taxes. They would like governments to recognize that without the money they bring in from their businesses the governments would be crushed financially. As one respondent put it, “Governments do not create wealth. They use it up.”

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July 5, 2009

Canada to Attract More Business with Lower Corporate Taxes

A few days ago Tim Hortons Inc. announced that it was changing its corporate registration from the United States to Canada in order to take advantage of better tax rates in Canada.
Economist Douglas Porter of Bank of Montreal saw this step as confirming the Canadian government’s decision to lower corporate income tax. As he notes, reductions in tax rates invite more businesses to base themselves in Canada and pay taxes here instead of somewhere more costly.

Porter believes that Tim Hortons decision will start a trend for businesses to switch their registration to Canada. As the United States is running into huge fiscal deficits, the tax rates are expected to continue to hike there. But the Canadian public sector’s better position should allow tax rates to keep decreasing in relation to U.S. Taxes.

As far as we see, they are. The Federal corporate tax rate in Canada is now 19%, down from 22.1% in 2007. The rate is forecasted to keep falling, to 18% in 2010, 16.5% in 2011 and 15 per cent in 2012. The provinces are seeing parallel cuts too. The Ontario government plans to lower its general corporate income tax rate from 14% to 10% by 2013.

As these trends continue, the economy should be looking forward to more jobs and capital as well as higher revenues for government programs. And the lower rates will likely be offset by more stimulus for investment and production and more tax money pumped into the economy by more businesses being attracted to open up shop in Canada.

Maybe Canada is figuring out at long last that higher tax rates don’t always translate to high tax revenue. A classic case is tobacco taxes, where tax rate hikes often lead to greater black-market activity, smuggling and lower tax receipts. According to a Montreal Economic Institute study, in Quebec receipts from tobacco taxes went down more than 25% from 2002 to 2007,
Canadians would do well to rein in the stimulus packages that the federal and provincial governments have announced in response to the global economic recession. Without all that spending, Canadian taxes would be more likely to keep on their downward trend versus other countries and be able to generate some real growth by encouraging more businesses to operate here.

When countries like the U.S. and China administer massive stimulus packages to their economies, their effects will soon run off into Canada. And we even see it happening now. As China stockpiles raw materials, commodity prices are on the upswing. As the U.S. economy shows some recovery, it too should start bidding on natural resources and other exports from Canada.

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July 3, 2009

Canada’s Economic Recovery Expected to be Modest, More Job Losses to Come: Flaherty

Canadian Corporate Tax Rates Slide to 25% Floor

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says unemployment will rise through 2010 despite some growth in the economy after meeting with the finance ministers of other nations.
Even though the economy is in the process of stabilizing, he and his fellow colleagues expect a continued increase in unemployment, as the labour markets have not improved and they are concerned about the effect on workers.

“We’ll start to see stabilization, which we are seeing now, and then a return to economic growth but continuing deterioration in employment,” he said.

“We can expect that to happen into 2010, but we’re optimistic we will then see the unemployment numbers start to improve.”

U.S. payrolls fell in June by 467,000, far more than was expected. Growth was predicted to resume by the fourth quarter but now some think that it may not happen so quickly.

Canadian economists expect Statistics Canada to report another 30,000 jobs to have been lost in June 363,000 jobs have been lost in Canada since October 2008.

Flaherty has in the past warned Canadians that times may continue to be tough however he is also confident that our recovery would be swift and strong, leading most of the industrialized countries.

Recently he has been more conservative in his estimates though, concurring with other finance ministers that recovery will be slow.

“The anticipation is that the recovery will be modest, so that we’ll experience some continuing increase in unemployment, but as we move into 2010, we’ll start to see modest recovery,” he said.

In the January budget, Flaherty predicted a strong rebound from the recession, with GDP growth of 4.3 per cent in 2010, 6.4 per cent in 2011 and 6.1 per cent in 2012, all higher than the private sector’s average estimates.

Notably, the finance minister said he believed Canada’s low corporate tax regime in comparison to other nations will attract corporations here.

Tim Hortons Inc. (TSX:THI) announced this week that it would relocate its corporate registration back to Canada from the U.S. in order to take advantage of lower taxes. Flaherty thinks other companies will follow suit as Canada’s corporate tax rates decrease to the new 25 per cent floor in combined federal and provincial taxes.

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