File the return (Methods to file)

Before you choose a method, you must determine if you are required to file online and which online method you can use.

You can file a GST/HST return electronically, by TELEFILE, or on paper.

File online and avoid penalties

For reporting periods that begin after December 31, 2023, all GST/HST registrants, with the exception of charities and selected listed financial institution (SLFIs), are required to file returns electronically. If you continue to file a paper return, you will be charged a penalty.

Methods to file

GST/HST NETFILE

GST/HST NETFILE is a service that allows registrants to file their GST/HST returns and eligible rebates directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) over the internet.

My Business Account

My Business Account is a secure portal that allows you to interact electronically with the CRA on various business accounts. Business accounts include GST/HST (except for GST/HST accounts administered by Revenu Québec), payroll, corporation income taxes, excise taxes, excise duties, and more.

Represent a client

Represent a Client is a secure service to access tax information on behalf of individuals and businesses, including your employer.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

GST/HST EDI lets you pay the net tax you owe electronically through a participating Canadian financial institution.

GST/HST TELEFILE

GST/HST TELEFILE is a fast, free, and easy-to-use filing option that allows qualifying registrants to file their GST/HST returns in a matter of minutes, using their touch-tone telephone and a toll-free number.

GST/HST Internet File Transfer

GST/HST Internet File Transfer is a service that allows eligible registrants to file their GST/HST returns directly to the CRA over the internet using their third-party accounting software.

Paper filing

To file a paper return, you can either mail your GST/HST return (GST34-2) to the address on your return, or file in person at a participating financial institution. Only charities and selected listed financial institutions are not required to file online.

You cannot file in person at a participating financial institution if:

  • you are claiming a refund
  • you are filing a nil return
  • you offset the amount owing on your return with a rebate or refund

Your personalized GST/HST return package

Each fiscal year, the CRA will mail you a personalized GST34-3 return package that includes:

  • an information sheet with your reporting periods and due dates
  • an access code for filing your returns electronically on GST/HST NETFILE or by phone using GST/HST TELEFILE
  • remittance vouchers to use if you make your payments at your financial institution

If you are filing electronically and make two consecutive electronic payments, the CRA will no longer send you a filing package unless you request one.

If you file on paper, the CRA will send you the GST34-2 filing information package, which also includes personalized returns. You can use the access code provided in the package if you decided to start using GST/HST NETFILE or GST/HST TELEFILE.

If you need a new return package or access code, do one of the following:

  • to request a new GST34-2 or GST34-3, call 1-800-959-5525
  • to get a new access code for GST/HST NETFILE or GST/HST TELEFILE, go to GST/HST Access Code Online
You can also register for My Business Account to view the due dates for your returns, make electronic payments or file your GST/HST returns without an access code.

Additional information for filing a GST/HST return

If you need to file a GST/HST rebate with your return and you are unable to do it electronically, mail it to the address on the rebate form no later than the day you file your electronic return. To learn more about filing a GST/HST rebate application go to Claim a GST/HST rebate.

View a previously filed GST/HST return

You may view the status and the details of a previously filed GST/HST return using My Business Account. You will also be able to view upcoming and overdue GST/HST returns by using the same digital service.

Common mistakes to avoid when completing your GST/HST return

Common errors that are made on GST/HST returns and how to avoid them. 

Keying errors

When entering amounts on your GST/HST return, be cautious of keying errors that could result in the switching of GST/HST and ITC amounts.  

Amounts on line 101

The amount on line 101 must include both the total amount of revenue from:

  • taxable supplies of goods and services, including zero rated supplies (this amount is reported separately on line 90 of your electronic return)

and

  • exempt supplies, zero-rated exports, and other sales and revenue (this amount is reported separately on line 91 of your electronic return)
Amounts on line 108

When claiming ITCs, enter only the amount of GST/HST paid or payable on the value of property and services you acquired, imported or brought into a participating province for use, consumption or, supplies in the course of your commercial activities. You can only claim ITCs for the GST/HST paid or payable on your supplies. 

Ineligible purchases and expenses for ITCs

You cannot claim ITCs for purchases and expenses bought or imported to make exempt supplies of property or services. 

Claiming personal expenses

You cannot claim ITCs for taxable goods and services bought or imported for your personal use, consumption or enjoyment. 

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