Registering for GST/HST

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Should you register for the GST/HST?

You have to register for GST/HST if:

  • you provide taxable supplies in Canada; and
  • you are not a small supplier.

You do not have to register if:

Note

For information on registration if you are a public service body (charity, non-profit organization, municipality, university, public college, school authority, or hospital authority), see Guide RC4022, General information for GST/HST Registrants.

For more information, see Register for a GST/HST account.

Small supplier

You do not have to register if you are a small supplier and you meet one of the following conditions:

  • you are a sole proprietor and your total revenues from taxable supplies (before expenses) from all your businesses are $30,000 or less over the last four consecutive calendar quarters combined or in any calendar quarter; or
  • you are a partnership, a corporation, or other organization and your total revenues from taxable supplies (before expenses) are $30,000 or less (or $50,000 or less if you are a public service body) over the last four consecutive calendar quarters combined or in any calendar quarter;

Total revenues from taxable supplies means your revenues from your worldwide supplies of property and services that are subject to the GST/HST (including zero rated supplies), or that would be subject to the tax if supplied in Canada. It does not include goodwill, supplies of financial services, or sales of capital property. You also have to include the total revenues from taxable supplies of all of your associates in this calculation. For more information about your total revenues from taxable supplies, see Guide RC4022, General Information for GST/HST Registrants.

Note

If your total revenues from taxable supplies are over $30,000 ($50,000 for public service bodies) in a single calendar quarter or over four consecutive calendar quarters combined, you are no longer a small supplier and you have to register for the GST/HST.

Exception

Taxi and limousine businesses and non-resident performers selling admissions to seminars and other events must register for the GST/HST, even if they are small suppliers.

Effective date of registration

The effective date of your GST/HST registration depends on when you go over the small supplier threshold amount of $30,000 ($50,000 if you are a public service body).

If your revenues are over the threshold in a calendar quarter, you are considered a registrant and must collect the GST/HST on the taxable supply (other than a zero-rated supply) that made you go over the threshold. Your effective date of registration will be the day you made this supply. You have 29 days after this day to register.

Example

Zuly began her business on January 1, 2015. Her total revenues from taxable supplies (sales) were $5,000 during the first calendar quarter and $7,000 during the second calendar quarter, meaning she was still a small supplier. In the quarter from July 1 to September 30, she had sales of $40,000, which included an order on August 20 for $25,000 that pushed her sales above $30,000 for the quarter. Zuly is no longer a small supplier as of August 20 and she has to charge the GST/HST on the $25,000 sale and any taxable sales made after this sale. She has 29 days after that day to register. In this case, although she is considered to be a GST/HST registrant as of August 20, she has up to September 18, 2015, to register.

If you are under the threshold amount in one calendar quarter, but you are over the threshold during four (or fewer) consecutive calendar quarters combined, you are considered to be a small supplier for those four calendar quarters and a month after those quarters. Your effective date of registration would be the day you make your first taxable supply after you stop being a small supplier. You have 29 days from this day to register for the GST/HST.

Example

Using the previous example, Zuly had the same sales, with the exception of the August 20 sale. Her total revenues from taxable sales in her first three calendar quarters combined were $27,000, and were $15,000 in the quarter that ended December 31, 2015 (each quarter is less than $30,000 but the last four quarters combined are more than $30,000). In this case, she is a small supplier until January 31, 2016. Any taxable sale she makes after January 31, 2016, is subject to GST/HST.

The day Zuly makes her first taxable sale after January 31, 2016, is her effective date of registration. She has 29 days after this date to register for the GST/HST.

Voluntary registration

If you are a small supplier and you are engaged in a commercial activity in Canada, you can choose to register voluntarily, even though you do not have to. If you register voluntarily, you have to charge and remit the GST/HST on your taxable (other than zero-rated) supplies of property and services. You can claim input tax credits (ITCs) for the GST/HST paid or payable on purchases for these supplies. You have to be registered for at least one year before you can ask to cancel your registration if you are still a small supplier. For more information, see Guide RC4022, General Information for GST/HST Registrants.

If you choose not to register, you cannot charge the GST/HST, and you cannot claim ITCs.

How to register

You can register for a GST/HST account, when you register for a Business Number (BN). Your BN will be your business identification for all your dealings with us. For more information, see Booklet RC2, The Business Number and Your Canada Revenue Agency Program Accounts.

If you are incorporated, you may already have a BN and a corporation income tax account.

Note

It is the person or business entity that registers for the GST/HST. Since a partnership is a person for GST/HST purposes, it is the partnership that registers for the GST/HST and not each partner separately.

If the physical location of your business is in Quebec, visit the Web site of Revenu Québec or contact Revenu Québec at:

Revenu Québec
380, rue de Marly
Québec QC G1X 4A5

Telephone: 1-800-567-4692
Outside Canada: 1-418-659-4692

More GST/HST information for Businesses

For more detailed GST/HST information, including calculating your net tax for a reporting period, filing your return, remitting amounts owing, and requesting refunds, go to Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST).

Forms and publications

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