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GST/HST for digital economy businesses

Get ready to register for the GST/HST

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

This information is for digital economy businesses that are not resident in Canada but that need to register for the purposes of Canada’s GST/HST and charge the tax on supplies made in Canada. If you are a Canadian resident business and need to register for the GST/HST, see GST/HST for businesses.

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Get to know your GST/HST options

If you need to register for the GST/HST as a digital economy business, you need to register for either a simplified GST/HST account or a normal GST/HST account. The registration requirements are based on which digital economy measure applies to your business.

Simplified GST/HST is available for:

Normal GST/HST is available for:

A business required to be registered under the simplified GST/HST may, if it meets certain conditions, voluntarily apply to register for normal GST/HST. For information, see Register voluntarily for a GST/HST account.

For more information about your registration obligations, see Find out if you need to register for the GST/HST.

About the simplified GST/HST

Registering for the simplified GST/HST makes it easier for you to report on and pay the GST/HST you collect.

It has the following key features:

Charging and collecting GST/HST

Cross-border digital products and services

  • you charge and collect GST/HST only on specified supplies you make to specified Canadian recipients
  • the rate at which tax is to be charged and collected depends on whether the taxable supplies are made in Canada, and whether they are made in a participating province

Platform-based short-term accommodation

  • you are required to charge and collect GST/HST on taxable supplies of short-term accommodation situated in Canada, and Canadian accommodation related supplies only if they are made to recipients who are not registered for GST/HST under the normal GST/HST regime
  • the rate at which tax is to be charged and collected depends on whether the taxable supplies are made in Canada, and whether they are made in a participating province

For more information, see How you charge and collect the tax.

Reporting GST/HST

Paying (remitting) GST/HST

No security deposit

  • you do not need to provide us with the security deposit that is normally required from non-residents who register for GST/HST

What you need before you start

You need all of the following information to apply to register for a simplified GST/HST account:

  • 1. Effective date of registration

    Your registration date must be July 1, 2021 or later.

    In most cases, if your threshold amount is more than $30,000 CAD on July 1, 2021, you would be required to be registered for the GST/HST on that date and to apply for registration by that date.

    After July 1, 2021, your effective date of registration usually will be the day you exceed the $30,000 CAD threshold amount, and you must apply for registration on that date.

    See Find out if you need to register for the GST/HST for more information on your registration obligations.

  • 2. Fiscal year for GST/HST purposes

    The fiscal year end for the simplified GST/HST is December 31 of each year.

  • 3. Total annual revenue

    Your total annual revenue for GST/HST registration purposes is the total of all amounts used to calculate your registration threshold amount.

    For more information, see:

    Cross-border digital products or services threshold amounts

    Platform-based short-term accommodation threshold amounts

    New businesses: If you are just starting your business, you can provide us with a reasonable estimate of your threshold amount for the year.

    The total annual revenue information you provide on your registration form must be in Canadian dollars (CAD).

  • 4. Business information

    You must provide the following information about your business:

    • type of business or organization (such as sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)
    • business legal name
    • operating, trade, or partnership name (if different from business legal name)
    • Canadian business number (if the business already has one)
    • physical address
    • mailing address (if different from the physical address)
    • address where the books and records of the business are maintained
    • e-mail address for the business
    • web site address (if applicable)
    • description of major business activity
    • incorporation information (where applicable):
      • date of incorporation,
      • jurisdiction of incorporation, and
      • certificate number.

    You also must provide all of the following information about the business owner(s) which includes a sole proprietor, or all partners, corporation directors or officers of the business:

    • names, title and phone number
    • Social Insurance Number (SIN) – if applicable
    • Temporary Tax Number (TTN) – if applicable
  • 5. Supporting documents

    As a simplified registrant, you do not need to provide additional documentation at the time you submit your application for registration, however we may contact you to ask for supporting documentation once we have reviewed your registration application form.

About the normal GST/HST

If you are a non-resident business with registration obligations under the Supply of qualifying goods measure, you must register for a normal GST/HST account.

With a normal GST/HST account under the digital economy measures, you will generally have the same GST/HST obligations as most non-resident businesses that register for GST/HST. However, depending on the type of business you operate, you may have specific requirements for how you charge and collect the tax.

What you need before you start

You will need all of the following information to apply to register for a normal GST/HST account:

  • 1. Effective date of registration

    Your effective registration date must be July 1, 2021 or later.

    In most cases, if your threshold amount is more than $30,000 CAD on July 1, 2021, you would be required to be registered for the GST/HST on that date and to apply for registration within 30 days from that date.

    After July 1, 2021, your effective date of registration usually will be the day you exceed the $30,000 CAD threshold amount, and you must apply for registration within 30 days from that date.

  • 2. Fiscal year for GST/HST purposes

    For information about how to determine the fiscal year to use for GST/HST purposes, see Open or manage an account – Make changes: Fiscal year.

  • 3. Total annual revenue

    Your total annual revenue for GST/HST registration purposes is the total of all amounts used to calculate your registration threshold amount.

    For more information, see Sales of goods threshold amounts

    New businesses: If you are just starting your business, you can provide us with a reasonable estimate of your threshold amount for the year.

    The total annual revenue information you provide on your registration form must be in Canadian dollars (CAD).

  • 4. Business information

    You must provide the following information about your business:

    • type of business or organization (such as sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)
    • business legal name
    • operating, trade, or partnership name (if different from business legal name)
    • Canadian business number (if the business already has one)
    • physical address
    • mailing address (if different from the physical address)
    • address where the books and records of the business are maintained
    • e-mail address for the business
    • web site address (if applicable)
    • description of major business activity
    • incorporation information (where applicable):
      • date of incorporation,
      • jurisdiction of incorporation, and
      • certificate number.

    You also must provide all of the following information about the business owner(s) which includes a sole proprietor, or all partners, corporation directors or officers of the business:

    • name, title and phone number
    • Social Insurance Number (SIN) – if applicable
    • Temporary Tax Number (TTN) – if applicable
  • 5. Supporting documents

    In addition to completing the registration web form, you may be required to provide supporting documentation to complete your registration.
    For an incorporated business, you will need to provide:

    • articles or certificates of incorporation or formation, and
    • name change information for all incorporated businesses or registered partnerships (Inc., LLC, LLP, LLLP, GmBH, SA etc.)

    You will need to send any supporting documentation requested during the registration process by fax or eFax to your designated Non-Resident Tax Services Office within 10 business days of submitting your registration web form.

Calculating and providing security for your GST/HST account

If you estimate that you need to post security with us, you are expected to provide it as soon as possible after your registration is complete. You don’t have to provide either the security or an exemption form while completing your registration.

For more information on calculating security, see the guide, Doing Business in Canada, GST/HST information for Non-Residents.

Who can register your business

Business owners can register the business. For registration purposes, business owners include sole proprietors, partners, directors and officers.

A representative who is a person other than the business owner, such as an accountant, lawyer or another company employee, can also submit a request for registration on behalf of the business. The representative does not have to be an authorized representative to submit the application for registration, or to provide additional information about the business to complete the registration.

After your registration is completed, a representative will have to have proper authorization to continue interacting with CRA on behalf of the business.

Authorized representatives

An authorized representative can request information about your registered GST/HST account. They may also be able to change certain account information, make payment arrangements or communicate with the CRA on your behalf.

You must have a business number before you can authorize a representative. To authorize a representative for the business, you need to submit Form AUT-01, Authorize a Representative for Offline Access to grant the authorization, signed by the business owner.

You can submit the AUT-01 form by fax, by eFax or by mailing it to your designated Tax Services Offices (TSO). To determine which TSO you should send your application form to, see Non-resident GST/HST Enquiries.

If you have questions

For questions or more information about your non-resident GST/HST registration or security, you can contact us.

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