The FAQs below are meant to provide Canadians and businesses with basic information about Statistics Canada's regulations.
The following list will be updated periodically to reflect any new recurring enquiries.
1. What is the purpose of this regulation?
The Corporations Returns Act mandates Statistics Canada to collect information on ownership and control of Canadian businesses for the purpose of determining the level of foreign control in the Canadian economy.
The purpose of the Corporations Returns Regulations is to inform Canadians and Canadian businesses on how the Corporations Returns Act is applied. The Corporations Returns Regulations describe the current financial thresholds under which Canadian businesses are required to file returns containing the information set out in sections 4 and 5 of the Act. This regulation also provides the required forms, Schedule I – Ownership Return and Schedule II – Financial Information.
2. What are the key elements of this regulation?
The Corporations Returns Regulations cover three key elements:
- the financial thresholds,
- the schedules (I & II), and
- the timeline for filing the information.
Canadian businesses are required to file returns if they have:
- assets of 600 million dollars or more; or
- revenues of 200 million dollars or more; or
- debt obligations or equity owning to non-residents of 1 million dollars or more.
Schedule I – Ownership Return is the key component of this Act. The information collected in this return relates to the share capital of the corporation, ownership of the share capital, its directors and officers and its subsidiaries.
Schedule II – Financial Information is a secondary component that must only be filed if such information has not already been provided to Statistics Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency. The information collected in this return relates to financial statements details such as assets, liabilities, operating revenues and expenses, dividends, depreciation and investments.
Businesses have 90 days following their fiscal year end to file the returns.
3. How does this regulation affect Canadian businesses?
Every individual business that is part of a group of commonly controlled businesses is required to file a Schedule I – Ownership Return if they meet one of the following criteria:
- Has combined assets of 600 million dollars or more; or
- Has combined revenues of 200 million dollars or more.
In addition, individual business with debt obligations or equity owning to non-residents exceeding 1 million dollars are also required to file a Schedule I – Ownership Return.
Furthermore, Canadian businesses that have not filed a set of financial statements with Statistics Canada or filed their income taxes with Canada Revenue Agency, are required to file a Schedule II – Financial Information Return, regardless of their assets, revenues or debt obligations or equity owing to non-residents.
4. What is the timeline for implementation?
The Corporations Returns Act and the associated regulations are currently in effect.
The Corporations Returns Act, formerly known as the Corporations and Labour Unions Returns Act, was first introduced in 1962 to address concerns of rising foreign control. Since that time, Statistics Canada has prepared annual reports to Parliament monitoring the state of foreign control in the Canadian economy. In January 1999, Parliament officially amended the Act, deleting the requirement of labour unions to report under the Act.
In January 2014, the Corporations Returns Regulations were made by the Governor in Council, and replaced the Corporations Returns and Labour Unions Regulations. These regulations set the new reporting thresholds, renumbered the schedules, and aligned the regulations with the Act. The regulations will be reviewed on a periodic basis to ensure the thresholds and reporting requirements remain valid.
5. Where can I get more information?
Corporations Returns Act:
Corporations Returns Regulations:
Foreign Control in the Canadian Economy – Annual Report to Parliament
Le contrôle étranger dans l'économie canadienne, 2011
Information can be obtained by contacting Statistics Canada at:
C/O Industrial Organization and Finance Division
170 Tunney’s Pasture Driveway
Ottawa ON K1A 0T6
6. Additional FAQs
For more information
- Government-Wide Forward Regulatory Plans
- The Cabinet Directive on Regulatory Management
- Recommendations Report: Cutting Red Tape...Freeing Business to Grow (Red Tape Reduction Commission)
- The Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council