Registering for GST/HST
On this page:
- Should you register for the GST/HST?
- Small supplier
- Effective date of registration
- Voluntary registration
- How to register
- More GST/HST information for businesses
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:
- You are a small supplier that does not carry on a taxi business.
- your only commercial activity is the sale of real property, other than in the course of a business (although you do not have to register for the GST/HST in this case, your sale of real property may still be taxable and you may have to charge and collect the tax). For more information, see Guide RC4022, General Information for GST/HST Registrants; or
- you are a non-resident who does not carry on business in Canada. For more information, see Guide RC4027, Doing Business in Canada - GST/HST Information for Non-Residents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
380, rue de Marly
Québec QC G1X 4A5
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
- Guide RC4022, General Information for GST/HST Registrants
- Guide RC4027, Doing Business in Canada - GST/HST Information for Non-Residents
- Guide RC4082, GST/HST Information for Charities
- Booklet RC2, The Business Number and Your Canada Revenue Agency Program Accounts
- Form RC1, Request for a Business Number
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