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News on How to File your Condo Returns with the CAO

As you know, all condo corporations in Ontario are now required to file new Condo Returns with the Condo Authority of Ontario (the CAO). To this end, the CAO was expected to launch an online platform on March 1st, 2018, for all corporation to file their first transitional returns by March 31.

The CAO is revising slightly how it will roll out its new online platform to better handle the filings of some 11,000 condo corporations. So, rather than opening the platform to all at the same time, the CAO will roll out its filing process in stages.  Email invitations and key instructions will be sent to condo corporations, group by group, advising them to file their return.  I suspect this phased-in process may also allow the CAO to iron out a few inevitable kinks.

The CAO advises that if you have not received your invitation yet, you will receive it  in the next several days – assuming you have registered your corporation with them. You will recall that registration of condo corporations is mandatory in Ontario and that you had until February 28, 2018 to do so.

Hopefully the CAO is considering grouping the invitations by region or by management firms to avoid imposing on managers a repeated exercise. I say this because the online system is supposed to allow for the filing of multiple returns.

The invitations and these filings will have to be made in very short order. Indeed, the CAO has until April to set up a publicly available and searchable database containing the information filed in the returns.

What returns are required

The regulation provides for the following returns:

  • Initial return (within 90 days of registration)
  • Turn-over return (within 90 days of the turn-over meeting)
  • Annual Return (between January 1st and March 31, each year)
  • Transitional return for corporations in existence on December 31, 2018. [I continue not to quite understand why corporations are simply not asked to file an Annual Return rather than having this initial transitional return. Time will tell.]

Here is a summary of what will be included in each of these returns.

Obligation to update the CAO

Corporations will also have to file a Notice of change when one or more of the following changes, amongst others, takes places:

  • Change in address for service or change in email address for the corporation;
  • A change in the number of units;
  • Changes in the directors elected or appointed (but note that the re-election of a director at an AGM does not constitute a change);
  • Changes in the condo management provider or condo manager; or a change in their address of service;
  • A change pertaining to the appointment of an Administrator or Inspector;
  • Termination of a condo;
  • If the corporation sells property or receives a notice of intention to expropriate under the Expropriations Act;
  • etc….

A notice of change will have to be sent in within 30 days of such change having occurred.

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