Political Financing Handbook for Electoral District Associations and Financial Agents (EC 20089) – April 2020
This chapter describes the financial and registry reports that must be completed and submitted by set deadlines under the Canada Elections Act. It covers the following topics:
- Reporting obligations after registration and during the fiscal year
- Additional reporting if corrections or revisions are required
- Submitting reports to Elections Canada
- Requesting a filing deadline extension
Note: Forms and instructions are available on the Elections Canada website.
Reporting obligations after registration and during the fiscal year
Reports in this table must be submitted to Elections Canada, unless otherwise noted.
|Mandatory document||Description||Deadline||Who is responsible|
|Statement of Registered Association's Assets and Liabilities
|The statement lists the association's assets and liabilities as of the day before the effective date of registration.||6 months after becoming a registered association||Financial agent|
|General Form—Electoral District Association
To report a change of registry information
|The association must report changes to its registry information, such as an address change or new appointments.||30 days after a change of registry information||Financial agent or chief executive officer|
|General Form—Nomination Contest
|The association must file this report if the association (and not the party) held a nomination contest. It is required if the contest was open to more than one person, even if only one person entered.
After receiving the report, Elections Canada starts sending notices to the nomination contestant and financial agent about reporting obligations.
|30 days after a nomination contest held by the association||Association's representative|
|Registered Association Financial Transactions Return
With supporting documents
|The annual financial return includes the following:
||May 31||Financial agent|
|Auditor's report*||After the financial agent completes the association's annual financial return, the auditor has to examine the financial records and give an opinion in a report as to whether the association's return presents fairly the information contained in the financial records on which it is based.||May 31||Financial agent|
|Auditor's invoice||The invoice must be prepared and signed by the auditor.||May 31||Auditor and financial agent|
|Contributions to a Registered Party or to a Registered Association—Information Return
|The financial agent must use the Canada Revenue Agency form to report contributions received and receipted.
A link to the form is posted on the Elections Canada website.
Canada Revenue Agency
|General Form—Electoral District Association
Annual confirmation of registry information
|Elections Canada sends the association a package with its registry information each year.
The association must certify that the registry information is accurate or provide updates.
|May 31||Chief executive officer|
*An auditor's report is required if the association accepted contributions totalling $10,000 or more, or incurred expenses totalling $10,000 or more, in the fiscal period. This is in effect for the 2019 fiscal period and later. Note that audit fees and transfers to or from affiliated political entities do not count toward the $10,000 threshold.
It is very important to give the auditor enough time to properly audit the annual financial return before the deadline.
Additional reporting if corrections or revisions are required
The Registered Association Financial Transactions Return may need to be amended to correct errors or omissions.
|Corrections or revisions requested
by Elections Canada
|Corrections or revisions requested by the
On review, Elections Canada may request the financial agent to correct or revise the association's annual financial return.
The financial agent must submit the corrected or revised return within the specified period.
The financial agent may become aware of a need to correct or revise a return that has been filed (for example, to add some omitted contributions).
The financial agent or chief executive officer has to apply to Elections Canada for authorization to file an amended return, using the Request for Amendment form.
An amended return must be submitted within 30 days after the correction or revision is authorized.
Submitting reports to Elections Canada
Financial forms, registry 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 Registered Association Financial Transactions Return makes reporting much easier because EFR validates the entries and creates a submission file with the required fields populated.
Financial transactions return
Statement of assets and liabilities
Extension and amendment requests
Note: If you submit online, there is no need to send physical copies by mail.
Mail or fax
Any financial reports
- It is recommended that the association keep a copy of all documents submitted.
- The association 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
If the registered association is not able to submit the Registered Association Financial Transactions Return with all mandatory documents by the deadline, the association may apply to submit the report within an extended period.
Note: The Canada Elections Act does not allow for extensions on registry reports, including the annual confirmation of registry information or changes to registry information during the year.
The following table explains which versions of the annual financial return are eligible for an extension and from whom.
|Document to submit||Extension from Elections Canada||Additional extension from Elections Canada||Extension from a judge|
|Original submission of the return, including the auditor's report (if required)||Yes||No||Yes|
|Corrected or revised return, as requested by the registered association||Yes||Yes||No|
|Corrected or revised return, as requested by Elections Canada||No||No||No*|
*Corrections or revisions requested by Elections Canada are not eligible for extensions and must be filed within the specified period. However, the financial agent can apply to a judge to be relieved of the obligation of complying with the request.
Submitting a request for an extension
To apply for an extension, the financial agent or chief executive officer 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 financial 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 for the original submission of the annual financial return, or if the financial agent is unable to file the return within the extended period, the financial agent may apply to a judge for an extension.
Note: If documents are not filed by the statutory deadline and no extension has been authorized, a registered association may face deregistration.