Charging and collecting the GST/HST

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Do you need to charge and collect the GST/HST?

As a GST/HST registrant, you have to charge and collect the GST/HST from your customers when you make taxable supplies (other than zero-rated supplies) of property and services in Canada.

If you are not registered for the GST/HST (for example, a small supplier), you do not charge and collect the GST/HST to your customers. To determine if you need to register for the GST/HST and when to start charging the GST/HST, see Registering for a GST/HST account.

Which GST/HST rate should you charge?

Generally, if you are supplying goods or services in your place of business, you will charge the GST or HST rate for your province or territory. However, your customer may not have to pay the GST/HST. The following chart helps you to determine which GST or HST rate to charge. For the rates of each province, see GST/HST rates.

Determine which GST/HST rate to charge
Items to consider This means

Who pays the GST/HST?

Almost everyone has to pay the GST/HST on purchases of taxable supplies of property and services (other than zero-rated supplies). However, certain persons may not always pay the GST/HST on taxable supplies. If you are supplying goods or services to:
What supplies does the GST/HST apply to?

Determine if you are supplying goods or services that is:

  • taxable (other than zero-rated)
  • zero-rated 
  • exempt 

For more information on the tax status, see What supplies does the GST/HST apply to? 

Where is the supply  made?

A taxable supply (other than zero-rated), made in a non-participating province is subject to the GST. When such a supply is made in a participating province, it is subject to the HST. If you are supplying goods or services to:

How do you calculate the GST/HST on an invoice?

You have to calculate the GST/HST being applied to the purchase based on the province or territory. To help you determine the applicable taxes (including the provincial sales tax), use the GST/HST calculator.

Calculating the povincial sales tax

In provinces where you have to charge the GST and the provincial sales tax (PST), calculate the GST on the price excluding the PST. For more information on the PST in your province, contact your provincial sales tax office.

Calculating the round off fractional amounts

Round off the GST/HST to the nearest cent:

  • if the amount is less than half a cent, round down
  • if the amount is equal to or more than half a cent, round up

If your customer is buying more than one item and tax applies at the same rate on all items, you can total the prices of all taxable supplies of goods and services, calculate the GST/HST payable, and then round off the amount.

The GST/HST you charge can apply differently in certain situations. For example, discounts, late-payment surcharge on credit sales, deposits and conditional sales, coin-operated machines, etc. For more information on how GST/HST applies in different situations, see Taxable supplies - Special cases.

What information do you need to include on your receipts or invoices?

You must let your customers know when the GST/HST is being applied to their purchases. You can use cash register receipts, invoices, contracts, or post signs at your place of business to inform your customers whether the GST/HST is included in the price, or added separately.

You have to show either:

  • that the total amount paid or payable for a supply includes the GST/HST
  • the amount paid or payable for the supply and show the amount of the GST/HST payable on the supply separately
  • the GST/HST rate that applies to the supply

If HST applies to the supply, show the total HST rate. Do not show the federal and provincial parts of the HST separately.

Invoice requirements for supplies made to GST/HST registrants

You have to give customers who are GST/HST registrants specific information on the invoices, receipts, contracts, or other business papers that you use when you supply taxable goods and services. They need this information to support their claims for input tax credits (ITCs) or rebates for the GST/HST you charged. Similarly, when you make business purchases, the invoices from your suppliers will support your claims for ITCs. 

The specific information that must be included on the invoice depends on the amount of the sale. 

For more information on what you must include on invoices for GST/HST registrants, see the table "Information requirements for sales invoices".

You can check if a business is a GST/HST registrant. This helps to ensure that claims submitted for ITCs only include GST/HST charged by suppliers who are registered for the GST/HST.

What do you do with the GST/HST you have collected?

You are responsible to hold this tax in trust until you send it to the CRA. You are required to remit all net tax owing with your returns and/or by instalments.  For more information on how to remit the tax, see Calculating the net tax to complete a GST/HST return.

What records do you have to keep?

You must keep the records that will support the information you provide on your GST/HST returns. Your records must allow you to calculate:

  • the amount of GST/HST you collected
  • the amount of GST/HST paid and payable on your eligible business purchases and expenses
  • the amount of tax to be refunded, rebated, or deducted from your net tax

Your records must describe the goods and services being traded in sufficient detail to determine whether or not GST/HST applies. Usually you must keep your records for a period of six years from the end of the last year to which they relate. However, we may ask you to keep the invoices longer than six years.

For more information, see Keeping records.

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