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Political Financing Handbook for Electoral District Associations and Financial Agents (EC 20089) – June 2017 – DRAFT guideline OGI 2017-02

8. Reporting

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:

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
(EC 20031)
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
(EC 20380)

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
(EC 20188)
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
(EC 20081)

With supporting documents
The annual financial return includes the following:
  • association's information and declaration, signed by the financial agent
  • inflows and outflows, including for voter contact calling services
  • statement of revenues and expenses
  • statement of assets and liabilities
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
(T2092—CRA)
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.
May 31, to the Canada Revenue Agency Financial agent
General Form—
Electoral District Association
(EC 20380)

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 $5,000 or more, or incurred expenses totalling $5,000 or more, in the fiscal period. Note that audit fees and transfers to or from affiliated political entities do not count toward the $5,000 threshold.

It is very important to give the auditor enough time to properly audit the annual financial return before the deadline.

**If the date falls within an election period, the deadline is July 31.

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 registered association
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 assist with the preparation of financial returns: the Electronic Financial Return (EFR) software. The EFR software is downloadable from 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.

How to submit reports to Elections Canada
Process
  1. Sign the pages requiring signatures.
  2. Send the reports by courier, mail, fax or email (in PDF format) to Elections Canada. Note: When using EFR for the association's return, send the submission file created by EFR as an email attachment.
  3. Send the originals of all supporting documentation to Elections Canada by courier or mail.
Email efr-rfe@elections.ca
Mail Elections Canada
30 Victoria Street, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M6
Fax Political Financing
1-888-523-9333 (toll-free)
1-819-939-1803

Notes

  • Documents submitted to Elections Canada have to be signed.
  • It is recommended that the association keep a copy of all documents submitted.
  • For details about EFR, please consult the EFR User Guide, available in the EFR software.

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.

Registered Association Financial Transactions Return—extension requests
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 within 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.