When Should You Charge GST/HST? 2022 Free Guide

by | Jun 3, 2022

When should you charge GST/HST? Most likely, every Canadian business owner needs to know the answer to this question. You will probably need to charge sales tax sometimes, even if you don’t intend to pay it. In addition, you will need to charge GST/HST to customers.

For instance, if you run a store and sell goods online, this is the time when should you charge GST/HST to your clients. Additionally, it is preferable to register for an HST number at the start of your business. This will guarantee that your company is registered in Canada. Further, you charge HST on purchases (including inventory). You can avoid fines if you register for HST in this manner.

So, if you’re attempting to determine when should you charge GST/HST in Canada, you’ve arrived at the right place. You can benefit from our bookkeeping services if you require assistance putting together your tax records. The only persons who have all the knowledge about GST/HST tax are Yogi & Associates. So, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our office is conveniently located in Mississauga and welcomes clients.

1. What is GST?

The GST tax is charged on most goods and services bought in Canada. Customers pay the GST, but businesses must report it to the Canada Revenue Agency. The harmonized or provincial sales tax rate affects how much GST is charged.

2. What is HST?

The harmonized sales tax (HST) is a consumption tax paid by local residents and businesses. It harmonizes/combines the federal goods and services tax and several provincial sales taxes. The HST is used in five Canadian provinces.

Quick Fact!
The GST/HST was initially implemented in 1954 in France. Since then, 140 nations have embraced it in one way or another. Canada, Vietnam, Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Nigeria, Brazil, and India are a few nations with a GST/HST system.

3. When Should You Charge GST/HST?

You must charge HST to your customers if your business generates more than $30,000 in annual revenue. So, while choosing when to apply GST/HST, keep the following four scenarios in mind:

1. You immediately receive an HST number

You can easily decide to register for an HST number when you launch your firm. And when you already know how much money you’ll bring in. Additionally, this rule only applies if you expect to surpass the $30,000 cap in the future. So, government refunds some part of your GST/HST, paid for business expenses. Especially on start-up costs.

When Should You Charge GST/HST

If you want to get information on HST number, check our blog, How to Get an HST Number in Canada: 2022 Easy Guide

2. You earn $30,000 during 90 days

You can start out as a small supplier. Then your company starts to generate sales. And in a particular quarter or three-month period, you make more than $30,000. In this instance, you are no longer regarded as a small supplier on the day the sale completes above the $30,000 mark.

Simply put, you must charge HST on the purchase, which pushes you above the $30,000 threshold. Moreover, even if you haven’t registered yet, on any subsequent sales. However, starting on the day of that sale, you will have 29 days to apply for a GST/HST

3. You gradually earn more than $30,000 per year

In this scenario, you want to stay a small supplier. But your company is expanding and bringing in more than $30,000 over four consecutive quarters. So, you will become a minor supplier for the following month and those four calendar quarters. Hence, after the extra month, first sale and all later transactions should include GST. As a result, beginning on the first day of the second month, you will have 29 days to register.

“As a nation, taxing ourselves into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” – Winston Churchill.

4. You earn $30,000 in just two quarters

In this case, you intend to stay a small supplier. But your company generates more than $30,000 in revenue after two consecutive calendar quarters. After exceeding the $30,000 limit, you will be considered a small supplier for one month. So, after an additional month, you must add GST/HST to all sales. You will also have 29 days starting on the first day of the second month to register for GST.

Note: if you are selling to clients who live in another Canadian province, it would help if you used their tax rate on invoices rather than your own.

4. Who pays the GST/HST Tax?

Except for zero-rated supplies, almost all buyers of taxable supplies must pay GST/HST. However, some individuals and organizations don’t always pay GST/HST on their transactions. This includes Indians and some provincial and territorial governments.

5. What are the Exceptions for Charging GST/HST in Canada?

In Canada, there are some exceptions for charging and collecting HST in your business. So, you need to know about them. The two main exceptions are as follows:

When Should You Charge GST/HST

1. Zero-rated supplies

You don’t have to charge GST if you’re selling zero-rated items in Mississauga. Such as exports, medical supplies, or basic groceries.

2. Exempt Supplies

GST/HST will not be applied on tax-exempt supplies. For example, health, medical, dental, daycare, and financial institution services, insurance plans.


Being a small supplier in Canada is based on your yearly income. Your company will be considered a small supplier if your combined taxable revenues before expenses from your enterprises amount to $30,000 or less. Or even less than $30,000 in any one calendar quarter over the previous four calendar quarters. GST/HST is not required to be included in this situation.

3. If you are a small supplier

Being a small supplier in Canada is based on your yearly income. The Canada Revenue Agency states that your company will be considered a small supplier if your combined taxable revenues before expenses from your enterprises amount to $30,000 or less. Or, you might have spent less than $30,000 in any of the previous four consecutive calendar quarters. GST/HST is not required to be included in this situation.

6. How does Place of Supply Impact GST/HST Rates?

The place of supply will determine the tax rate applied. Because you conduct your sell, lease, or other supply at a certain place. The GST/HST rate on a zero-rated supply is 0% across Canada. For instance, all provinces and territories have a 0% GST/HST rate for basic groceries. The province or territory determines the rate for other taxable supplies. The rates at this time are:

  • GST of 5% is applicable in different provinces of Canada. Including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.
  • 15% (HST) is paid in five provinces. For instance, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island; 
  • 13% (HST) in Ontario

7. How to Update Your Bookkeeping Records?

As a business owner, it can be challenging to remain on top of your financial activities with so many demands on your time. However, the transactions pile up and go unreported without correct and timely bookkeeping.  This might result in errors and the loss or forgetting of important information.

However, establishing a systematic method for tracking your GST/HST taxes on a daily, monthly, and annual basis will help you improve your firm’s performance. For this purpose, you need a tax accountant. Yogi & Associates can assist if you’re experiencing trouble controlling your accounting and bookkeeping procedures. We offer bookkeeping services to business owners all across Mississauga. You can securely provide our tax accountant access to your books, so he can optimize your tax returns.

The Bottom Line!

We hope this article has given you enough information to decide when should you charge GST/HST. Thus, you should get familiar with requirements for charging, and remitting GST/HST. Understanding GST tax under Canadian tax rules can benefit your business. If you are unsure when should you charge the GST/HST, contact Yogi & Associates. We provide excellent HST services in Mississauga. Our expert HST administrator will guide you through this process. 

Yogi & Associates assists small businesses like yours in navigating Canada’s tax laws and other financial issues. Also, get our bookkeeping services if you require assistance in organizing tax information.  So CALL US TODAY to get started!

Get in touch with Yogi & Associates!