About The Financial Information Return

The Financial Information Return provides a standardized reporting of a municipality’s financial activities in the previous fiscal year (January to December).

Section 294 (1) of the Municipal Act states that the treasurer of a municipality shall in each year provide the Minister with a return containing information designated by the Minister with respect to the financial affairs of the municipality. This takes the form of the annual Financial Information Return (FIR). Municipalities must submit FIRs annually to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing by May 31.

Through the FIR template, a standard Excel workbook, the Ministry collects data on municipal financial position and activities, such as assets, liabilities, revenue, expenses, over the course of the previous fiscal year (based on the audited financial statements), as well as municipal statistical information. The template is updated annually to reflect changes to legislation and reporting requirements.

Process

Municipalities can access the most recent FIR template shortly after the end of the previous municipal fiscal year (i.e. the 2020 FIR template will be made available for download in early 2021). The template is pre-populated with select property tax data, as well as prior year information to provide consistency between closing and opening balances.

The FIR is designed to include many automatic calculations, including formulas which carry-forward data from one schedule to another. To further assist municipalities with completing the FIR, over 1400 data verification checks are built into the template. A municipality cannot submit the FIR if it contains ‘critical’ errors and all ‘verify’ errors must include an explanation. Once submitted, a municipality’s FIR is reviewed and compared with the audited financial statements to ensure consistency.

Available Data Sets

Municipal FIR data has been collected and stored since 1978 (for 1977 information). Although earlier years’ data (1977 to 1987) is only available in a limited format, full datasets are available from 1988 to the current year. This website posts information in a variety of formats from 1977 on.

Notes

The source of the information displayed on the website is the Financial Information Return (FIR).

All files are published in English, however French versions will be provided upon request to FIR.MAH@ontario.ca.

Data is posted on the site regularly, thus at any given point in time, data may be missing or incomplete. In addition, previously posted data (including prior years) may be updated. Please refer the “Date Posted” column to determine when information was last refreshed.

For any given year, municipal names are shown as they existed in that year. Municipal restructurings or name changes may result in a different municipal list from year to year.

Please report any accessibility issues to FIR.MAH@ontario.ca.

News

FIR Awards

Congratulations to the following municipalities:

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Reporting COVID-19 Expenses

This document provides guidance on the reporting of COVID-19 pandemic related expenses in the 2020 Financial Information Return (FIR).

Read More

Read Other News and Updates

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. When is the FIR due?"

The due date for the submission of the FIR is May 31st..

Q2. Do I need to do anything special in order to complete the FIR?"

Yes. Although the FIR template is an Excel workbook, certain functionality: initializing the FIR for your municipality, backing up, restoring and submitting the FIR requires the template to connect with Hyperion Planning on the Ministry’s server. In order to do this, you must have installed Smart View (an Excel add-in) and you must have a valid GO Secure account. To find out more about installing Smart View and registering for a GO Secure account, please download the Registration Package posted here.

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Q3. I am getting a “Failed to configure Planning Connection.” error. What does this mean and what should I do?"

You will get this error when your GO-Secure password has expired. Please refer to this support memo for instructions on resetting your password.

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Q4. I am getting a “Microsoft Visual Basic Run-time error ’53’: File not found: HdAddin” error. What does this mean and what should I do?"

You will get this message if Smart View is not installed or Smart View is not enabled. If you have not previously installed Smart View, please refer to Question 2 above. If Smart View has been installed, please refer to the attached support memo for instructions on how to enable / disable the Smart View add-in.

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