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GST/HST for digital economy businesses

Complete and file a return

New rules for digital economy businesses are in effect as of July 1, 2021.

The simplified return is now available.

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Reporting obligations

If you are registered for the simplified GST/HST

Filing period

Your reporting period is a calendar quarter. You are required to file your return within one month after the end of the reporting period.

Filing period table
Reporting Period Due date of return for reporting period
January 1 to March 31 April 30
April 1 to June 30 July 31
July 1 to September 30 October 31
October 1 to December 31 January 31

Net tax calculation

Your net tax calculation for a reporting period generally only includes the GST/HST that is collected or that becomes collectible during the reporting period and certain net tax adjustments. You are not entitled to claim input tax credits for the GST/HST paid or payable on your business inputs, but you are able to claim certain net tax deductions.

Your GST/HST simplified return has fewer lines to complete than the normal GST/HST return.

Your net tax for each reporting period is calculated as the difference between the following two amounts (A-B) as follows:

A: Line 105 of the return

  • GST/HST collected or that becomes collectible on your supplies during the reporting period.
  • The amount of the GST/HST you recover if you wrote off the GST/HST amount of any bad debts on a previous return, and then recover some or all of those debts.

B: Line 108 of the return

  • The amount of the GST/HST that you refund to a person, or credit or adjust in favour of a person, in relation to excess tax charged or collected, or for subsequent reductions of consideration, and
  • The amount of uncollectable GST/HST you write-off as a bad debt if you previously accounted for the full amount of the GST/HST on the supplies that resulted in those debts, and you have remitted any net tax owing.

If the above net tax calculation results in a positive amount, that is the amount of net tax that you must report in your return and remit to us. If the calculation results in a negative amount, that is the amount of the net tax refund that you can claim in your return.


Line 111 of the return

You can enter the amount of certain GST/HST rebates that you are claiming.

If you are registered for the normal GST/HST

For information about reporting GST/HST under the normal GST/HST, including reporting periods and net tax calculation, see GST/HST for businesses - Complete and file a return.

If you registered under the supply of qualifying goods measure, your net tax calculation is determined based on the standard methods for calculating your net tax.

However, under this measure, as a registered distribution platform operator you are also eligible to claim input tax credits in respect of the GST/HST paid or payable on purchases and expenses related to your commercial activities, including on the importation of goods by non-registered vendors who import their goods into Canada to be sold through your platform. To claim an input tax credit on the importation, you are required to obtain satisfactory evidence from the vendor that the tax in respect of the importation has been paid.

File a GST/HST return

If you are registered for the simplified GST/HST

If you are a business that registered for simplified GST/HST, you must file a GST/HST simplified return using GST/HST NETFILE.

You will be able to access the online return through the Ready to file page.

When filing your return using GST/HST NETFILE, you will need:

  • your Business Number (BN);
  • your reporting period "from" and "to" dates; and
  • your access code.

You need an access code to file a GST/HST return.

If you are a first time filer you can call us at 1-800-959-5525 and we will give you one. If you are calling from outside Canada and the United States, call us collect at 613-940-8497.

Filing a GST/HST simplified return in Canadian currency or a qualifying foreign currency

If you are a non-resident and registered for the simplified GST/HST, you can request authorization to calculate your net tax on your return in a qualifying foreign currency by completing the online Application for Foreign Currency Designation or Revocation.

The qualifying foreign currencies are:

  • U.S. dollar
  • Euro

At this time, the Minister is not accepting any other qualifying foreign currency.

If your request is approved, we will let you know in which period you can start filing and paying in your designated foreign currency. You can only file your return for any designated reporting periods in that currency. You can file your return in the designated foreign currency using GST/HST NETFILE.

You can also revoke a request to file in foreign currency by completing the online Application for Foreign Currency Designation or Revocation. We will advise you in which filing period you may start filing and paying in Canadian currency.

If you have submitted your Application for Foreign Currency Designation or Revocation and have not received confirmation that you have been designated, contact us before filing your GST/HST simplified return.

Making a payment with your GST/HST simplified return

If you file your return using GST/HST NETFILE and are paying in Canadian funds, you will be able to make a payment with your return.

You cannot make a payment with your return if you:

  • file your return using Represent a Client, or
  • you have been authorized to report your net tax for a filing period in a qualifying foreign currency

For information about making your payment in a qualifying foreign currency, see Pay (remit) the tax you collected.

Filing options for authorized representatives

Your authorized representative can use GST/HST NETFILE to file GST/HST returns on your behalf. They also may be eligible to file a return on your behalf. For more information, see About Represent a Client.

If you are a non-resident representative living in the United States, see Represent a Client – Non-resident representative.

After you file your GST/HST simplified return

After you submit your return, you will receive a confirmation number. Record this confirmation number as your proof that the CRA has received your information.

Do not mail paper copies of returns or rebates that you have submitted electronically.

Once we process your return and any applicable rebates, we may have to contact you for more information. Keep all supporting documents for six years from the end of the last year to which they relate. This applies whether you file on paper or electronically.

If you are registered for the normal GST/HST

For more information on filing a return under the normal GST/HST, see Complete and file a GST/HST return.

Rebate eligibility for simplified GST/HST

If you registered for the simplified GST/HST, and you paid an amount of GST/HST to a supplier in error, or you paid GST/HST on commercial goods that you exported from Canada, you may be eligible for one of the following GST/HST rebates:

You can request a rebate by filing Webform GST189, General application for GST/HST rebates.

If you report a rebate amount on line 111 of your GST/HST return, you will need to file this rebate webform to support that amount.

Once your rebate application has been processed, we will send you a notice of assessment, and rebate amount, if applicable.

All eligible rebate amounts are paid in Canadian dollars.

GST/HST rebate filing options for authorized representatives

If your representative is authorized to file your GST/HST return on your behalf, they can also file an associated GST/HST rebate.

If you have an authorized representative in Canada, they may be able to file your GST/HST rebate using Represent a Client (RaC).

For more information, see About Represent a Client.

Rebate applications may also be filed by an authorized third-party representative if a completed Form GST507 (Third Party Authorization and Cancellation of Authorization for GST/HST Rebates) was previously sent to us.

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