Agricultural and horticultural organization annual return
Learn how to submit your society’s annual report to maintain your status as a non-profit organization and be eligible for grants.
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The Agricultural and Horticultural Organizations Act sets out the rules for agricultural associations, agricultural societies and horticultural societies that are incorporated under the Act.
According to the Act, organizations must provide the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) with an annual return to:
- maintain their status as a non-profit organization
- remain in good standing with the ministry
- be eligible to apply for grants (societies only)
Agricultural associations must submit their annual return directly to OMAFRA.
One month before your next scheduled annual general meeting (AGM) date, we will send you an email with a link to upload your annual return.
Alternatively, you can email your annual return package to email@example.com.
Agricultural and horticultural societies
Societies must submit their annual return and grant application through Transfer Payment Ontario (TPON). Ensure your society is registered on TPON.
At the end of the year, your society will receive an email outlining the submission process and deadline.
The guide and supporting documents are also located on TPON, for your convenience.
Your society may be eligible for grants. Societies apply for the grants through the annual return filing process.
All grants are paid based on society eligibility based on expenditures made by the society for the fiscal year which just ended.
- keep copies of all paid receipts of expenditures on file
- provide the copies to OMAFRA for audit purposes, if requested
If your society is not applying for a grant, you still need to submit a return.
What to include
Your annual return and grant application must include a:
- copy of the audited financial statement
- statement of the number of current members
- list of the directors and officers of the organization including address, telephone and email
- copy of the annual report submitted at the annual meeting
Acceptable financial reports
Acceptable financial reports include:
- an independent auditor's report (the highest level of assurance)
- a financial review certificate (an acceptable level of assurance)
If you do not have access to TPON and need a copy of the financial review certificate, request a copy by emailing AHOA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
A "notice to reader" report from accountants is not acceptable.
Notice to reader
If your organization receives a notice to reader, you must conduct an additional review of the financial records.
This can take the form of a signed financial review certificate. This means that after the financial reports are prepared, your organization must appoint two people to review the financial records of the organization.
These two individuals should not be:
- on the board
- related to the treasurer
- related to each other
There are no other requirements, but it is best to choose people who are familiar with financial matters.
The reviewers can be volunteers, either associated or not with your organization.
This process will increase the level of assurance that your organization has with the financial statements.
Annual general meetings
- hold an AGM at least every 15 months
- submit your annual return to the ministry within 90 days of your AGM
If your society cannot hold their annual meeting within 15 months of your last meeting due to unusual and extenuating circumstances, email the OMAFRA director at AHOA.email@example.com to:
- request an extension with a proposed new date (month/year)
- provide reason for the AGM delay
We will approve extensions and notify you via email.