Ask an accountant: GST registration and reporting requirements

Francesca Giroux, CGA
For the Lakeside Leader

When do I have to register for GST? You have to register for GST if you have taxable sales/services in Canada and you are not a small supplier. A small supplier is considered to be a sole proprietor, partnership or corporation with total revenues from taxable sales or services, before deducting expenses of $30,000 or less in the last four consecutive calendar quarters or in any single calendar quarter. If you are a public service body (i.e. charity, non-profit organization, municipality, university, etc) the threshold is increased to $50,000.

The date you are considered to be a GST registrant is the day you go over the threshold amount (i.e. $30,000 or $50,000). In a specific quarter, if you go over the threshold amount you are considered to be a registrant on the day that you went over the threshold amount and must collect GST on the sales that made you go above the threshold amount and any taxable sale made after that. From this day, you have 29 days to apply for registration.

If you are a small supplier you can also voluntarily register for a GST/HST account even though it is not required or you to do so. If you choose to register you must collect GST on your sales, and you can claim ITC’s on your GST return. If you are a small supplier and choose not to register you cannot charge GST on the sales or services you provide and you cannot claim ITC’s. To become a GST registrant, contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) at 1-800-959-5525.

GST can be reported annually, quarterly or monthly. When you contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to become a GST registrant they will choose the reporting period that requires you to file returns the least frequently based on your sales; however, you can choose to report more frequently.

Please e-mail your questions to [email protected]

Information provided is of a general nature. As each individual or company’s situation is unique, you may wish to consult with your CGA for information specific to your own needs.

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