CO-17 tax returns, tax returns for non-profit and for-profit businesses

What is a CO-17 tax return?

The CO-17 income tax form is the mandatory corporate tax form in Québec. The official term for this form is "corporate income tax return." Each company must file an income tax (form CO-17) each year.

Here are the links to these tax returns:

If your company is a non-profit, with tax-exempt income and meets various conditions listed on the Revenu Québec website, your company should complete the CO-17.SP form.

Here are links to the CO-17.SP tax return form and guide:

What information is needed in order to fill out the CO-17 tax return?

Before filling out your CO-17 tax return, you must have the following information:

  • Company name and address
  • Company number from the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Names (first and last), addresses and country of residence for all company shareholders
  • Names (first and last), addresses and country of residence for all authorized signatory share holders within the company 
  • Complete financial statements (income statement, balance sheets) prepared using the General Index of Financial Information (GIFI)
  • Principle activity of the company
  • The different revenue sources of the company (investment earnings, etc.)
  • Whether shareholders hold shares in other companies and if the company is linked or associated with other institutions.
  • Whether the company participates in any activity abroad, or has any international assets.
  • Whether the the company participates in activity in other Canadian provinces.
  • Whether the company received or paid any dividends 
  • Acquisition or of fixed assets

This list is far from exhaustive, but like the T2 return, it allows you to have an idea of the information needed to properly complete the 17-Co tax return.

Who needs to file a CO-17 tax return form?

All companies that have, at any time, a permanent establishment in Québec need to fill out a CO-17 tax return form.

If the company is not established in Québec, but has alienated taxable Québec property, it must also fill out the CO-17 tax return form. Here is a link detailing other situations where a company must complete a CO-17 tax return to Québec.

How do I file my CO-17 form?

The easiest way to go about filing the CO-17 tax return in Québec is by hiring a tax accountant or using software solutions for the preparation and production of your CO-17 tax return. These methods let you quickly and safely send your form electronically to the proper tax authorities.

You can file your tax return via a CO-17 software and send it to Revenu Québec by internet, or if you are so determined you can print out the tax return form and submit it as a PDF. However, we do not suggest filing directly on the government website as there is too great a risk of calculation errors, or omissions of important fields.

Please note that if your company has gross revenue of more than $1 million, you cannot file your tax return by paper version. Here is a link for more inform of the subject: Mandatory Internet filing for corporate tax returns. Revenu Québec imposes a penalty of $1,000 to those companies that fail to site their tax return online.

What are the deadlines to file the CO-17 tax return form? 

Every company in Québec must file the CO-17 tax return form within 6 moths following the end of each taxation year.

In the case your company has choses a taxation year that ends on the last day of a given month, you must file the CO-17 tax return by the last day of the sixth month following the end of the taxation year. The following are concrete examples:

  • The end of the taxation year for your company is December 31st, the deadline for filing will be June 30th
  • The end of the taxation year for your company is July 31st , the deadline for filing will be January 31st

If your company has determined that the taxation year does not end on the last day of a given month, it must file the CO-17 tax return no later then the same day of the sixth month following the end of the taxation year for your company.

Here is an example:

  • The end of the taxation year for your company is September 14th , the filing deadline is March 14th.

It is very important to file your CO-17 tax return on time as the Revenu Québec agency has several legal means to impose penalties and interest to your company.

How to determine the end of your company’s taxation year?

If it is the case that your company is not in its first year of existence, and has already filed a CO-17 tax return in the past, you will be forced to keep the same end date for your company’s taxation year.

If you want to change this end date, there is a way to go about doing this: a letter must be sent to your company’s tax center detailing the reason for this change. Without the agreement of tax authorities, you must continue to strictly adhere to the established end date. 

If this is the first year of your company’s existence, you can choose the date of the end of your taxation year if you want. Please note, you must consider the following rules: 

If your company is in its first year, you can choose the date of the end of the taxation year. You should be aware of the following rules:

A taxation year of a company cannot exceed 53 weeks or 371 days.

You are required in the first year to pick the date of incorporation as the start date of the taxation year for your company. You must calculate the 371st day from this date of incorporation.

You have the freedom to choose the end date of the taxation year for your company; you are not required to use the calendar year or December 31st. It is advisable to opt for a taxation year-end date that occurred where there is less activity for your business. If you own multiple companies, it is easier to choose the same end date for all your companies.

When should I pay my corporation tax?

You are usually required to pay taxes two months after the end of your company’s the taxation year. The question that is often a problem for entrepreneurs is:

“How can I pay my taxes if I do not know how much ax I own, and if my accountant did not have the time complete my tax return?”

Indeed, this problem sometimes causes headaches for entrepreneurs, as they want to avoid interest on taxes and installments paid late. Generally, a percentage of about 8-9% of your accounting profit can be sent.

Is my company required to pay tax installments?

Here is the response taken from the Revenu Québec’s corporate income tax filing guide:

“A company must make installment payments if the total tax and the capital tax otherwise payable for the current tax year and the total tax and the tax on capital that it has to pay for the previous taxation year exceeds $ 3,000 each”

To summarize, it is extremely important not to overlook the tax oblations of your company, because the legal and financial of your company depends on it.

To help you with the corporate tax returns and the filing of your CO-17 forms, contact our experts and receive support to your needs.