Answers to Common Questions About Canada's GST/HST

GST/HST Information for Doing Business in Canada

Charging GST/HST
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Do you run a Canadian business? Or are you a non-resident wondering if you need to charge GST/HST when operating in Canada? The answers to your questions about the GST/HST may well be in this collection of answers to common GST/HST questions.

Questions on Charging GST in Canada

Q: Do I need to charge the GST/HST?  Answers the question whether or not you need to charge GST/HST on your sales of goods or services.

Sales of zero-rated or exempt goods and the small supplier exception are discussed.

Q: Shipping Out of Province: Should You Charge GST/HST?  How to handle harmonized sales tax (HST) or provincial sales taxes (PST) on your sales of goods and services to other provinces.

Q: Does my online business need to charge GST/HST?   How to harmonized sales tax (HST) or provincial sales taxes (PST) on online sales.

Q: What's the difference between zero-rated and exempt goods and services?  Describes the two special classes of goods and services that the customer does not pay GST/HST on but (in the case of zero-rated goods) you can still claim input tax credits.

Q: What kinds of goods and services are GST/HST exempt or zero-rated?  Gives examples of the most common GST/HST exempt or zero-rated goods and services.

Q: How do I calculate the GST/HST?  Describes how to calculate the GST/HST in the various provinces and territories and how to add the PST in provinces that have not harmonized their provincial sales taxes with the GST.


Q: How do I charge GST/HST on discounts?  How to calculate the GST/HST when you give discounts to customers.

Q: If I don't have to charge GST, do I have to charge PST?  Describes how to charge provincial sales tax on goods or services to which GST does not apply (in provinces that have not harmonized their sales taxes with the federal GST).

Q: Why would I want to register for the GST/HST if I don't have to?  Lists the reasons why you might want to register for the GST/HST even if you are not required to.

Q: How do I register for GST/HST?  Describes the GST/HST registration process.

Q: Can I close my GST/HST account if my business situation changes?  Describes how to close your GST/HST account if your business closes or your business revenues drop below the small supplier minimums.

Non-Residents and the GST HST

Q: Do I charge non-residents the GST/HST?  Describes the process of charging non-residents GST/HST on goods purchases in Canada but not on goods shipped out of the country.

Q: I'm going to be in Canada speaking at several events. Do I need to charge GST/HST?  Describes how you need to charge GST/HST if the event takes place in Canada.

Questions on Remitting & Filing GST in Canada

Q: What do I do with the GST/HST I have collected?  How to remit GST/HST you have charged.

Q: When do I have to file my GST/HST returns?  Describes the reporting periods and GST/HST return requirements.


Q: How do I get back the GST/HST I have paid out?  Explains how to recover GST/HST paid out by claiming Input Tax Credits (ITCs) on your GST/HST return.

Q: What are Input Tax Credits?  Describes the various expenses that qualify for Input Tax Credits and how to enter them on your GST/HST return.

Q: How do I pay the GST/HST that my small business owes?  Lists the various ways that you can pay your GST/HST, including online, pre-authorized debits, mail, etc.

Q: What are the penalties for filing a late GST/HST return?  Describes the penalties for late filing of a GST/HST return (if there are amounts owing).

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