If you have ever tried to navigate the Canada Revenue Agency website you will know that it can be a sea of confusion and frustration. Just trying to find answers to seemingly simple questions can be an exercise in saint-like patience. There’s good and bad news about that. The bad news is that the CRA website is likely never going to get any easier to understand. But! The good news is that there are experienced accounting professionals who know exactly what they’re looking for and where to find it. Better yet, they know where these elusive forms need to go.
As a business owner, there are federal and provincial forms that you need to fill out and file in order to stay in good standing. Read on to learn about the most common ones!
Applying for a Business Number
If the CRA ever tells you that you are more than “just a number” that may not be as true as you may think. In the eyes of the CRA you quite literally are “just a number.” And this is the way it has to be. Your Business Number is what differentiates you from all of the other businesses in Canada. A business number is used for all your correspondence with the CRA and helps keep track of you and your business. You can learn more about registering for a Business Number here.
Chances are you aren’t a one-man or one-woman show. Your business employs other people who help your business succeed. Businesses in Canada are required to deduct Canada Pension Plan contributions, Employment Insurance, and income tax from the wages of your employees and keep track of each individual’s contributions. See here for helpful online calculators, deduction tables, and all of the CRA related forms to do with Payroll.
Income Tax Return
With Payroll, you will quickly get the hang of how to calculate deductions and keep a record of employee contributions. With Income Tax Returns though, you will have fewer opportunities to get the hang of the process. Every two years, all corporations have to file income tax returns. Even if your corporation is a non-profit, tax-exempt, or even inactive you still have to check in the CRA. See here for how to determine when your returns are due. There are two styles for returns: an 8-page return, and a much shorter 2-page return.
Incorporating Your Ontario Business
Within the province of Ontario, you have the choice of incorporating your business provincially or federally. Both options have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Based on the incorporation style you choose, the amount you pay in taxes, and the extent to which your name is protected against other similar or identical names is different.
Like any province, running a business in Ontario means that you should get comfortable with the idea of forms, or at the very least have someone who is. Here at Peter’s Accounting & Bookkeeping, we know government forms like the back of our hand so why not get in Contact with us if you have any questions.