open Secondary menu

Political Financing Handbook for Candidates and Official Agents (EC 20155) – November 2019

Note: This handbook is to be used for elections called on or after June 13, 2019. For earlier elections, please use the February 2018 version of the handbook.

15. Reporting

This chapter describes the financial reports that must be completed and submitted by set deadlines under the Canada Elections Act. It covers the following topics:

  • Reporting obligations after election day
  • Additional reporting
  • Reporting gifts and other advantages
  • Submitting reports to Elections Canada
  • Requesting a filing deadline extension

Note: Financial forms and instructions are available on the Elections Canada website.

Reporting obligations after election day

Reports in this table must be submitted to Elections Canada, unless otherwise noted.

Reports and documents Description Who is responsible
1 month after election day
Official tax receipts

All unused and copies of used receipts, if applicable
Applies to paper tax receipts obtained from Elections Canada. Does not apply to tax receipts prepared using the Electronic Financial Return (EFR) software. Official agent
3 months after election day
Candidate's Statement of Expenses
(EC 20220)

Signed, with all supporting documents
The statement lists the candidate's personal, travel and living, and litigation expenses that were reasonably incurred in relation to the campaign and have not been reimbursed by the campaign.

It must be completed even if the expenses were nil.
Candidate

Submitted to official agent
4 months after election day
Contributions to a Candidate at an Election—Information Return
(T2093—CRA)
The official agent must use the electronic form available on the CRA website to report contributions received and receipted.

A link to the form is posted on the Elections Canada website.
Official agent

Submitted to Canada Revenue Agency
Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return
(EC 20120)

Signed, with all supporting documents
The candidate's return includes the following:
  • campaign information and declaration, signed by the candidate and the official agent
  • revenues and other inflows
  • expenses and other outflows
  • unpaid claims and loans
  • financial summary
Official agent
Auditor's report
(if applicable)*
After the official agent has completed the candidate's return, the auditor has to examine the candidate's financial records and give an opinion in a report as to whether the candidate's return presents fairly the information contained in the financial records on which it is based. Official agent
Auditor's invoice
(if applicable)*
Prepared and signed by the auditor. Auditor and official agent
Checklist for Audits
(EC 20011)
The auditor's report has to include a completed checklist for audits in the prescribed form. Auditor and official agent
Candidate's Statement of Expenses
(EC 20220)

Signed, with all supporting documents
The official agent must submit the expenses statement, together with the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return. Official agent
Candidate's Statement of Gifts or Other Advantages Received
(EC 20053)

(if applicable)
The candidate has to submit this report if they received certain gifts or other advantages during a prescribed period.

See the Reporting gifts and other advantages section below.
Candidate

*Required if contributions totalling $10,000 or more were accepted, electoral campaign expenses totalling $10,000 or more were incurred, or the candidate received 10% or more of the valid votes cast in their electoral district. (Note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not electoral campaign expenses.)

It is very important to give the auditor enough time to properly audit the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return before the deadline.

Additional reporting

In some cases, the reporting obligations do not end soon after election day. The campaign might still have unpaid claims or loans, or need to correct an error in the candidate's return. The following table summarizes these additional reporting requirements.

Reports in this table must be submitted to Elections Canada.

Reports and documents Description Deadline Who is responsible
Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return (EC 20120)
Corrected or revised, as requested by the candidate or official agent The candidate or the official agent may become aware of a need to make a correction or report new transactions in a return that has been filed. In that case, the candidate or the official agent has to submit a written request for authorization to file a corrected or revised return. 30 days after the correction or revision was authorized Official agent or candidate
Corrected or revised, as requested by Elections Canada On review, Elections Canada may request the official agent to correct or revise the candidate's return. Within a period specified by Elections Canada Official agent
Updated after the final payment of a claim or loan The official agent must send an updated Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return indicating the source of funds used to pay the claim or loan. 30 days after a claim or loan is paid* Official agent
Candidate's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After Election Day (EC 20003)
Statement as of 18 months after election day The statement is required if the campaign still has unpaid claims and loans 18 months after election day. 19 months after election day Official agent
Statement as of 36 months after election day The statement is required if the campaign still has unpaid claims and loans 36 months after election day. 37 months after election day Official agent

*Claims and loans must be paid within 36 months after election day. Authorization is required from Elections Canada or a judge to pay claims or loans more than 36 months after election day.

Reporting gifts and other advantages

When to report gifts and other advantages
Definition A gift or other advantage is money, property or services provided without charge or at less than commercial value.

Note: This definition excludes monetary or non-monetary contributions or transfers, as defined in the Canada Elections Act and in the chapters of this handbook.
Important to know
  • Once a person becomes a candidate, there are restrictions on the gifts and other advantages that they may accept.
  • Gifts or other advantages received from any one person or entity that exceed a total of $500 have to be disclosed.
  • A candidate may not accept any gift or other advantage that might be seen to have been given to influence them as a member of Parliament. However, a candidate may accept a gift or other advantage given by a relative or as a normal expression of courtesy or protocol.
    • A relative is a person related to the candidate by marriage, common-law partnership, birth, adoption or affinity.
    • An affinity is a relationship other than by blood, especially a relationship by marriage or adoption.
    • A common-law partnership is the relationship between two persons who are cohabiting in a conjugal relationship that has lasted for at least one year.
    • A normal expression of courtesy or protocol is an expected act of showing thanks or politeness, such as gift exchanges with foreign delegates or the celebration of events such as holidays and birthdays.
Reporting gifts and other advantages
  • The candidate is required to report gifts received between:
    • the date of winning the nomination contest or the day the election is called (whichever is earlier), and
    • the day the elected candidate becomes a member of Parliament or withdraws from the election, or election day (if the candidate is not elected)
  • The candidate is responsible for filing the Candidate's Statement of Gifts or Other Advantages Received (EC 20053).
  • The statement must be sent directly to Elections Canada within four months after election day or after a notice of withdrawal of the writ is published.
  • This document is confidential, except when required for enforcement purposes.

Submitting reports to Elections Canada

Financial forms and instructions are available on the Elections Canada website.

Elections Canada has developed free software to help with the preparation of financial returns:
the Electronic Financial Return (EFR) software. It can be accessed from the Political Entities Service Centre on the Elections Canada website.

Note: Using EFR to complete or update the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return makes reporting much easier because EFR validates the entries and creates a submission file with the required fields populated.

How to submit reports to Elections Canada
Online
  1. Log in to the Political Entities Service Centre or create a new account at csep-pesc.elections.ca.
  2. Click on the Electronic Financial Returns tab.

Campaign return

  • Upload the submission files created by the EFR software (in PDF and XML formats) and any supporting documents.
  • Follow the on-screen steps to apply digital consent and submit the return.

Any other report

  • Sign the pages requiring signature and scan the report.
  • Upload the report (in PDF format) and any supporting documents.
Mail or fax
  1. Sign the pages requiring signature.
  2. Send the reports to Elections Canada by courier, mail or fax.
  3. Send supporting documents to Elections Canada by courier or mail.

Address

Elections Canada
30 Victoria Street, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M6

Fax

Political Financing
1-888-523-9333 (toll-free)
1-819-939-1803

Notes

  • It is recommended that the campaign keep a copy of all documents submitted.
  • The campaign can print a confirmation of its submission and track the status of its financial return in the Political Entities Service Centre.

Requesting a filing deadline extension

Reports eligible for an extension

The Canada Elections Act specifies deadlines for submitting reports. The official agent or the candidate may apply for an extension if they cannot submit a report on time

If only a few invoices or receipts are missing, campaigns should submit the mandatory documents on time and send the missing documentation later.

The following table explains which reports are eligible for an extension and from whom.

Candidate reports—extension requests
Document to submit Extension from Elections Canada Additional extension from Elections Canada Extension from a judge
Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return
Original submission, including the auditor's report (if required) Yes No Yes
Updated after the final payment of a claim or loan at any time after election day Yes No Yes
Corrected or revised, as requested by the candidate or the official agent Yes Yes No
Corrected or revised, as requested by Elections Canada No No No*
Candidate's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After Election Day
Statement as of 18 months after election day Yes No Yes
Statement as of 36 months after election day Yes No Yes

*Corrections or revisions requested by Elections Canada are not eligible for extensions and must be filed within the specified period. However, the official agent or the candidate can apply to a judge to be relieved of the obligation of complying with the request.

Note: If an elected candidate does not meet certain filing requirements, a possible consequence is that they will be unable to continue to sit or vote in the House of Commons until the documents are submitted or an extension is granted.

Submitting a request for an extension

To apply for an extension, the official agent or the candidate has to send the Request for Extension of Filing Deadline form. It must be received by Elections Canada no later than two weeks after the filing deadline.

Note: Only a judge may grant an extension requested more than two weeks after the deadline has passed.

Elections Canada will grant an extension unless the official agent's failure to provide the document was deliberate or was the result of a failure to exercise due diligence.

If Elections Canada refuses to authorize an extension or if the official agent or candidate is unable to file the required documents within the extended period, the candidate or the official agent may apply to a judge for an extension.