Using tax preparation software

If you are preparing your return using tax preparation software, you must use Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)-certified software. The CRA certifies commercial software to ensure that it meets its specifications.

You can file your return electronically by using one of the following services:

Most corporations, including non-resident corporations and insurance corporations, can file their return electronically.By filing electronically, you will receive immediate confirmation that the CRA has received your return, enjoy faster processing and refunds, save on mailing costs and help the environment by using less paper.

You can also print the T2 Bar Code Return and mail it to the CRA. Do not send it by fax. The CRA does not accept it.

Using tax preparation software allows you to complete all return and schedule information electronically within the software program, including any financial statement information using the General Index of Financial Information (GIFI) codes. For more information on GIFI codes, see General Index of Financial Information (GIFI).

T2 Auto-fill

T2 Auto-fill is a secure service that lets corporations and authorized representatives download information from the CRA to their tax preparation software. Using this service will ensure that certain return and account balances will match CRA's data. 

This service is not mandatory for certified software products. Some include it and others do not. If you have questions on the availability of the service, contact the software product company.

Mandatory electronic filing

All corporations with annual gross revenue of more than $1 million have to file their T2 return electronically, except for insurance corporations, non-resident corporations, corporations reporting in functional currency, and corporations that are exempt from tax payable under section 149 of the Income Tax Act. Corporations are subject to a penalty for non-compliant returns.

If you file through an electronic transmitter, you have to authorize the transmitter by completing Form T183CORP, Information Return for Corporations Filing Electronically, for each tax year. As of the date of royal assent, Form T183CORP may be signed with an electronic signature. Do not send this form to the CRA, but keep it in case the CRA asks for it later.


The $1 million threshold is eliminated for tax years starting after 2023. Most corporations will have to file their return electronically.

NAICS codes and corporation income tax (T2) returns

All certified tax preparation software for T2 returns uses self-identified North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes.

The integration of NAICS codes into T2 commercial tax preparation software packages means that corporations have to pick their main revenue-generating business activity directly from a drop-down list or a simple search. Active corporations that file their T2 returns either by internet or on paper using 2D bar codes must choose the most appropriate code, as provided by the software, to describe their main revenue-generating business activity. Corporations using the agency-provided return do not have to enter a NAICS code.

Avoid errors

It is important that you select the most accurate business activity the first time since the first year's code is carried forward to following years, allowing for a simple validation of the description when there is no change in the main business activity.

If you do not select the business activity, problems and errors will result when preparing the T2 return to be transmitted electronically or printed in bar-coded format.

If you have any questions on selecting NAICS codes to describe your corporation's main revenue-generating business activity when filing your T2 return, call the Business Enquiries line at 1-800-959-5525.

Additional paper schedules

Whether you send it to the CRA electronically or by printing and mailing the T2 Bar Code Return, do not send in any additional paper copies of schedules, or the client copy of your T2 return generated by your tax software. The client copy is for your records only.

Sending certificates or elections

T2 Attach-a-doc

The T2 Attach-a-doc service allows corporations to attach supporting documentation such as certificates when they file their T2 return or within 24 hours of filing. This service is not mandatory for certified software products. Some include it and others do not. If you have questions on the availability of the service, contact the software product company.

If you are filing your T2 return electronically, and you cannot use the T2 Attach-a-doc service to file your supporting documents such as a certificate or an election form with your return:

Your slips, receipts, and documents

Although you do not need to send them in to us, keep all corporation information slips, receipts, and papers for at least six years. The CRA may ask to see them later.

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