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COVID-19 - Frequently asked questions: Increase to the GST/HST credit amount

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What is the increase to the GST/HST credit amount?

The one-time payment doubles, for the majority of Canadians, the annual GST/HST credit amounts for the 2019-2020 benefit year (2018 tax year) and is being issued as part of the Government of Canada's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who gets the increase?

You will get the one-time special GST/HST credit payment amount automatically if you normally receive the GST/HST credit and have filed a 2018 tax return. Payments will be issued on April 9, 2020.

If you were previously not entitled to the GST/HST credit, but have filed your 2018 tax return, you may also get the one-time special GST/HST credit amount based on your family net income.

If you're not entitled to the one-time special GST/HST credit amount, you may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Will I get the one-time special GST/HST credit payment automatically?

If you normally receive the GST/HST credit amount, you will get the one-time special GST/HST credit payment amount automatically.

If you were previously not entitled to the GST/HST credit, and have filed your 2018 tax return, you may also get the one-time credit amount based on your family net income.

When will I get the one-time special GST/HST credit payment?

You will receive the one-time special GST/HST credit payment starting April 9. Your regular quarterly GST/HST credit payment will be sent or deposited separately on April 3.

You will get a notice explaining the additional one-time special GST/HST credit payment by mail or through MyAccount.

Why did I receive a GST/HST credit payment on April 3 but I did not receive the one-time special GST/HST credit payment on April 9?

If you receive a paper cheque, it could take up to 10 business days for you to receive the payment.

You might also not have received a payment on April 9 if any of the following information on your account has changed since March 9, 2020:

  • direct deposit,
  • address,
  • marital status.

You may also not receive it if your 2018 income tax was reassessed, or your 2019 income tax was assessed and you have an amount owing.

For any balance owing amounts on the 2019 income tax year, the CRA recognizes these amounts are not payable until September 1, 2020. As a result, the CRA is taking corrective action and will reach out to those negatively impacted.

Why did I receive the one-time special GST/HST credit payment on April 9 but I did not receive the GST/HST credit payment on April 3?

You may have received the April 9 payment and not the April 3 payment as a result of one of the following situations:

  • You received all your GST/HST annual entitlements prior to April 3, 2020.
  • If you were previously not entitled to the GST/HST credit, and have filed your 2018 tax return, you may also get the one-time special GST/HST credit amount based on your family net income.

What is the one-time special GST/HST credit payment amount based on?

The one-time special GST/HST credit payment amount is calculated based on information from your 2018 tax return.

Do I have to file my 2019 taxes to get the one-time special GST/HST credit amount?

You don't have to file your 2019 taxes to receive the one-time special GST/HST credit amount, the payment will be based on your 2018 taxes. You do have to file your 2019 taxes to ensure you continue to get your benefits and credits for the July 2020 to June 2021 benefit year.

Will I get the one-time special GST/HST credit amount if I haven't filed a 2018 tax return?

The amount you receive will be calculated based on information from your 2018 tax return. Therefore, if you didn't file taxes for 2018, you won't receive this payment.

If you're late in filing your 2018 taxes, we encourage you to file as soon as possible. You may be eligible for retroactive benefits and credits. The only way to get them is to file.

If you're not entitled to the one-time special GST/HST credit amount, you may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

How much will I get?

The one-time special GST/HST credit payment will be calculated based on information from your 2018 tax return.  

The maximum amounts for the 2019-2020 benefit year will increase from:

  • $443 to $886 if you're single
  • $580 to $1,160 if you're married or living common-law
  • $153 to $306 for each child under the age of 19 (excluding the first eligible child of a single parent)
  • $290 to $580 for the first eligible child of a single parent.

There will be no changes to:

  • The family net income used to calculate the amount.
  • The family net income used to calculate the single supplement.

The current shared custody rules apply (shared custody parents get half of the child amount they would have otherwise received in respect of a shared custody child).

Example:

Sam is single. For the 2019-2020 benefit year, he received an annual base credit amount of $290. His GST/HST credit entitlement is $290 (four quarterly payments of $72.50). His one-time supplementary payment will be $290.

You will get a notice explaining the additional one-time special GST/HST credit payment by mail or through MyAccount.

How can I calculate the increase to the GST/HST credit amount?

To calculate your COVID-19 - Increase to the GST/HST credit amount, subtract the annual credit amount on line 14 in the calculation sheet for the July 2019 to June 2020 payments (2018 tax year) from line 14 in the COVID-19 calculation sheet for the July 2019 to June 2020 payments (2018 tax year).

I normally receive the GST/HST credit amount. Why didn't I receive the one-time special GST/HST credit payment?

If you have an outstanding debt with the CRA and/or Family Order & Agreement, your payment may have been applied to the debt. If so, you will receive a GST/HST credit notice that will explain any changes to your account.

Outstanding debts with the CRA include debts from the 2018 income tax year and prior, any amount owing for GST/HST credit, for the Canada child benefit (CCB) and for any provincial or territorial program administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

For any balance owing amounts on the 2019 income tax year, the CRA recognizes these amounts are not payable until September 1, 2020. As a result, the CRA is taking corrective action and will reach out to those negatively impacted.

Why was the one-time special GST/HST credit payment less than I expected?

If you have an outstanding debt with the CRA and/or Family Order & Agreement, your payment may have been applied to the debt. If so, you will receive a GST/HST credit notice that will explain any changes to your account.

If the GST/HST credit is more than the amount you owe, we will send a payment for the difference.

Outstanding debts with the CRA include debts from the 2018 income tax year and prior, any amount owing for GST/HST credit, for the Canada child benefit (CCB) and for any provincial or territorial program administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

For any balance owing amounts on the 2019 income tax year, the CRA recognizes these amounts are not payable until September 1, 2020. As a result, the CRA is taking corrective action and will reach out to those negatively impacted.

If you normally receive a provincial component as part of your GST/HST credit quarterly payments, your one-time special GST/HST credit payment may have been less than you expected as any provincial related portions are not doubled as part of the COVID-19 measures.

Will my one-time special GST/HST credit payment be used to pay an amount owing for any other non-CRA federal debt, for example student loans?

No, your one-time special GST/HST credit payment will not be used to pay an amount owing for non-CRA federal debts.

I became a new resident of Canada in 2019. Do I have to file a 2018 tax return to get the one-time special GST/HST credit payment?

If you became a new resident of Canada between January 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, you don’t have to file a 2018 tax return.

However, in order to be eligible for retroactive benefits and credits, including the one-time special GST/HST credit payment amount, you must have provided your world income information for 2018 when you applied for child and family benefits.

If you have not already done so, be sure to apply for the GST/HST credit and/or the Canada child benefit.

If you have children, apply for all child and family benefits, including the GST/HST credit by completing form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application.

If you don’t have children, apply for GST/HST credit by completing form RC151, GST/HST Credit Application for Individuals Who Become Residents of Canada.

Once your form is complete, mail it to your tax centre.

Will there be another COVID-19 GST/HST credit payment coming in May?

No, the one-time special GST/HST credit payment originally scheduled for May 2020, will now be issued one month earlier on April 9, 2020.

Is the estate of a deceased individual eligible to receive the GST/HST credit payment?

The estate is eligible to receive the one-time special supplementary payment if they were eligible for any GST/HST credit quarterly payments in the 2019-2020 benefit year (July 2019 – June 2020).

Where can I get more information about the one-time special GST/HST credit payment?

For more information on the one-time special GST/HST credit payment, visit GST/HST credit or call 1-800-387-1193.

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