When to register for and start charging the GST/HST

Find out if you have to register for a GST/HST account

You generally cannot register for a GST/HST account if you provide only exempt supplies.

You have to register for a GST/HST account if both situations apply:

If you are a selected listed financial institution that is making a reporting entity, consolidated filing or tax adjustment transfer election, see GST/HST Notice 265, GST/HST Registration for Listed Financial Institutions (including Selected Listed Financial Institutions).

Use the following sections to determine if you are a small supplier to find out if you have to register.

Most businesses 

Most businesses

Use the following table to find out:

  • if you are a small supplier
  • if you have to register for the GST/HST
  • your effective date of registration
Small supplier limit calculation for most businesses
If Then
What you need to do

You do not exceed the $30,000 thresholdFootnote  1 over 4 consecutive calendar quarters.Footnote 2

You are a small supplier.

You do not have to register. You may choose to register voluntarily if you make taxable sales, leases,or other supplies in Canada.

Your effective date of registration is usually the day you request your GST/HST account (or up to 30 days before that day).

You exceed the $30,000 threshold1 in a single calendar quarter.Footnote 2 You are no longer a small supplier and have to charge GST/HST on the supply that made you exceed $30,000 within the calendar quarter.

You must register for the GST/HST. 

Your effective date of registration is no later than the day of the supply that made you exceed $30,000.

You have to start charging GST/HST on the supply that made you exceed $30,000.

You exceed the $30,000 threshold1 over the previous 4 (or fewer) consecutive calendar quarters (but not in a single calendar quarter).Footnote 2

You are no longer a small supplier at the end of the month following the quarter in which you exceed $30,000.

You have to register for the GST/HST.

Your effective date of registration is no later than the beginning of the month after you are no longer a small supplier.

You have to start charging GST/HST on your taxable supplies starting on your effective date of registration.

Examples

Example 1 – Did not exceed the $30,000 threshold amount in 4 consecutive calendar quarters

On February 1, 2018, you started a business that sells candles. You made the following sales:

Calculation – Example 1
Quarter Amount
First quarter (January 1 to March 31) $2,000
Second quarter (April 1 to June 30) $10,000
Third quarter (July 1 to September 30) $12,000
Fourth quarter (October 1 to December 31) $5,000
Total $29,000

You are a small supplier in 2018 because you did not exceed the $30,000 threshold in 4 consecutive calendar quarters. You are still a small supplier in the first quarter of 2019, unless you exceed the $30,000 threshold in that one quarter.

Example 2 – Exceed the $30,000 threshold in one quarter

On January 1, 2018, you started a consulting business. You made the following revenue from your taxable services.

Calculation – Example 2
Quarter Amount
First quarter (January 1 to March 31) $2,000
Second quarter (April 1 to June 30) $10,000
Third quarter (July 1 to September 30) $38,000
  • You stopped being a small supplier the day you exceed the $30,000 threshold in one calendar quarter.
  • Your effective date of registration is no later than the day of the supply that made you exceed the $30,000 threshold in the quarter.
  • You have to start charging the GST/HST on your date of registration, including on the sale that made you exceed the $30,000 threshold.
  • You will have to register within 29 days of your effective date of registration.

Example 3 – Exceed the $30,000 threshold in 2 consecutive calendar quarters

On November 1, 2017, you opened a retail store. You made the following taxable sales:

Calculation – Example 3
Quarter Amount
First quarter (October 1 to December 31) $25,000
Second quarter (January 1 to March 31) $25,000
Total $50,000

In April 2018, your sales totaled $ 8,000.

Your first sale after April was on May 1, 2018.

  • You stopped being a small supplier on April 30, 2018, because that day is the end of the month after the quarter you exceed the $30,000 threshold.
  • Your effective date of registration is no later than May 1, 2018. That day is when you made your first supply after you stopped being a small supplier.
  • You have to start charging GST/HST on your date of registration.
  • You will have to register within 29 days of your effective date of registration.

Example 4 – Exceed the $30,000 threshold amount within the previous 4 consecutive calendar quarters

On June 1, 2017, you started a business selling baseball caps. You made the following sales:

Calculation – Example 4
Quarter Amount
First quarter (April 1 to June 30) $2,000
Second quarter (July 1 to September 30) $10,000
Third quarter (October 1 to December 31) $12,000
Fourth quarter (January 1 to March 31) $8,000
Total $32,000

In April 2018, your sales totaled $ 4,500.

Your first sale after April was on May 2, 2018.

  • You stopped being a small supplier on April 30, 2018, because that day is the end of the month after the quarter you exceed the $30,000 threshold.
  • Your effective date of registration is no later than May 1, 2018. That day is when you made your first supply after you stopped being a small supplier.
  • You have to start charging the GST/HST on your date of registration.
  • You will have to register within 29 days of your effective date of registration.
Charities and public institutions 

Charities and public institutions

Use the following 2 tables to see if you are a small supplier under either of the following tests:

You do not have to be registered for the GST/HST to be eligible for a public service bodies rebate.

When determining its status under these tests, a charity has to consider its activities as a whole.

$250,000 gross revenue test
If Then What you need to do

You are in your first fiscal year.

You are a small supplier.

You do not have to register. You may choose to register voluntarily if you make taxable sales, leases, or other supplies in Canada.

Your effective date of registration is usually the day you request your GST/HST account (or up to 30 days before that day).

You are in your second fiscal year and the gross revenue from your first fiscal year is $250,000 or less.Footnote 3

You are a small supplier.

You do not have to register. You may choose to register voluntarily if you make taxable sales, leases, or other supplies in Canada.

Your effective date of registration is usually the day you request your GST/HST account (or up to 30 days before that day).

You are in your third fiscal year and the gross revenue for either or both of your previous 2 fiscal years is $250,000 or less.Footnote 3 You are a small supplier.

You do not have to register. You may choose to register voluntarily if you make taxable sales, leases, or other supplies in Canada.

Your effective date of registration is usually the day you request your GST/HST account (or up to 30 days before that day).

You are in your second fiscal year and the gross revenue from your first fiscal year is more than $250,000.Footnote 3

Under this test, you are not a small supplier.

Use the $50,000 taxable supplies test to see if you are a small supplier under that test.

If you are not a small supplier under either test you have to register for the GST/HST.
You are in your third fiscal year and the gross revenues for both of your previous 2 fiscal years is more than $250,000.Footnote 3

Under this test, you are not a small supplier.

Use the $50,000 taxable supplies test to see if you are a small supplier under that test.

If you are not a small supplier under either test, you have to register for the GST/HST.

$50,000 taxable supplies test

You start charging the GST/HST at the beginning of the month after you are no longer a small supplier.

You have to register within 29 days after you make a sale other than as a small supplier.

Small supplier calculation for charities and public institutions (for taxable supplies test)
If Then What you need to do

You do not exceed the $50,000 threshold amountFootnote 4 in 4 consecutive calendar quarters.Footnote 5

You are a small supplier.

You do not have to register. You may choose to register voluntarily if you make taxable sales, leases or other supplies in Canada.

Your effective date of registration is usually the day you request your GST/HST account (or up to 30 days before that day).

You exceed the $50,000 threshold amountFootnote 4 in a single calendar quarter.Footnote 5

Under this test, you are not a small supplier. You are no longer a small supplier on the supply that made you exceed $50,000.

Use the $250,000 gross revenue test to see if you are a small supplier under that test.

If you are not a small supplier under either test, you have to register for the GST/HST. Your effective date of registration would be no later than the day of the supply that made you exceed $50,000.

You exceed the $50,000 threshold amountFootnote 4 within the previous 4 consecutive calendar quarters (but not in a single calendar quarter).Footnote 5

Under this test, you are no longer a small supplier at the end of the month following the quarter in which you exceed $50,000.

Use the $250,000 gross revenue test to see if you are a small supplier under that test.

If you are not a small supplier under either test, you have to register for the GST/HST. Your effective date of registration would be no later than the day of your first supply after you stopped being a small supplier under both tests.

Examples

Example 1 – Did not exceed the $50,000 threshold amount in 4 consecutive calendar quarters

On January 15, 2017, your charity started making taxable supplies of goods and made the following sales:

Calculation for charities and public institutions – Example 1
Quarter Amount
First quarter (January 1 to March 31) $7,000
Second quarter (April 1 to June 30) $15,000
Third quarter (July 1 to September 30) $17,000
Fourth quarter (October 1 to December 31) $10,000
Total $49,000

You are a small supplier in 2017 because you did not exceed the $50,000 threshold in 4 consecutive calendar quarters. You are also a small supplier under this test in the first quarter of 2018, unless you exceed the $50,000 threshold in that one quarter.

Example 2 – Exceed the $50,000 threshold amount in one quarter

On July 1, 2017, your charity started making taxable supplies of goods and services and made the following sales:

Calculation for charities and public institutions – Example 2
Quarter Amount
First quarter (July 1 to September 30) $7,000
Second quarter (October 1 to December 31) $15,000
Third quarter (January 1 to March 31) $58,000
  • Under this test, you stop being a small supplier the day you exceed the $50,000 threshold in one calendar quarter. Use the $250,000 gross revenue test to see if you are a small supplier under that test.
  • If you are no longer a small supplier under the $250,000 gross revenue test, your effective date of registration is no later than the day you exceed the $50,000 threshold in that quarter.
  • You have to start charging GST/HST on your date of registration, including on the sale that made you exceed the $50,000 threshold.
  • You will have to register within 29 days of your effective date of registration.

Example 3 – Exceed the $50,000 threshold in 2 consecutive calendar quarters

On November 1, 2017, your charity started making taxable supplies of goods and services and made the following sales:

Calculation for charities and public institutions – Example 3
Quarter Amount
First quarter (October 1 to December 31) $35,000
Second quarter (January 1 to March 31) $35,000
Total
$70,000

In April 2018, your sales totaled $12,000.

Your first sale after April was on May 1, 2018.

  • Under this test, you stop being a small supplier on April 30, 2018, beacause it is the last day of the month after the quarter you exceed the $50,000 threshold. Use the $250,000 gross revenue test to see if you are a small supplier under that test.
  • If you are no longer a small supplier under the $250,000 gross revenue test, your effective date of registration no later than May 1, 2018. That date is when you made your first supply after you stopped being a small supplier.
  • You must start charging GST/HST on your date of registration.
  • You will have to register within 29 days of your effective date of registration.

Example 4 – Exceed the  $50,000 threshold within the previous 4 consecutive calendar quarters

On May 1, 2017, your charity started making taxable supplies of goods and services and made the following sales:

Calculation for charities and public institutions – Example 4
Quarter Amount
First quarter (April 1 to June 30) $7,000
Second quarter (July 1 to September 30) $15,000
Third quarter (October 1 to December 31) $17,000
Fourth quarter (January 1 to March 31) $13, 000
Total $52,000

In April 2018, your sales totaled $4,500.

Your first sale after April was on May 2, 2018.

  • Under this test, you stopped being a small supplier on April 30, 2018, because that day is the end of the month after the quarter in which you exceeded the $50,000 threshold. Use the $250,000 gross revenue test to see if you are a small supplier under that test.
  • If you were also no longer a small supplier under the $250,000 test, your effective date of registration is no later than May 2, 2018. That date is when you made your first supply after you stopped being a small supplier under this test.
  • You have to start charging the GST/HST on your date of registration.
  • You will have to register within 29 days of your effective date of registration.
Public service bodies

Public service bodies that are not charities or public institutions

Use this table to find out:

  • if you are a small supplier
  • if you have to register for a GST/HST account
  • your effective date of registration
Public service bodies that are not charities or public institutions
If Then What you need to do

You do not exceed the $50,000 threshold amountFootnote 6 in 4 consecutive calendar quarters.Footnote 7

You are a small supplier.

You do not have to register. You may choose to register voluntarily if you make taxable sales, leases or other supplies in Canada.

Your effective date of registration is the day you request your GST/HST account (or up to 30 days before that day).

You exceed the $50,000 threshold Footnote 6 in a single calendar quarter.Footnote 7

You are not a small supplier. You are no longer a small supplier on the supply that made you exceed $50,000.

You have to register for the GST/HST.

Your effective date of registration is no later than the day you exceed the $50,000 threshold.

You have to start charging GST/HST on your effective date of registration.

You exceed the $50,000 threshold amountFootnote 6 within the previous 4 consecutive calendar quarters (but not in a single calendar quarter).Footnote 7

You are no longer a small supplier at the end of the month following the quarter in which you exceed $50,000.

You have to register for the GST/HST.

Your effective date of registration is no later than the day of your first supply after you stopped being a small supplier.

You have to start charging GST/HST on your effective date of registration.

Examples

Example 1 – Did not exceed the $50,000 threshold amount in 4 consecutive calendar quarters

On January 1, 2017, your public service body started making taxable supplies of goods and services. You made the following sales:

Calculation for public service bodies – Example 1
Quarter Amount
First quarter (January 1 to March 31) $7,000
Second quarter (April 1 to June 30) $15,000
Third quarter (July 1 to September 30) $17,000
Fourth quarter (October 1 to December 31) $10,000
Total $49,000

You are a small supplier in 2017 because you did not exceed the $50,000 threshold in 4 consecutive calendar quarters. You are also a small supplier in the first quarter of 2018, unless you exceed the $50,000 threshold in that one quarter.

Example 2 – Exceed the $50,000 threshold amount in one quarter

On January 1, 2017, your public service body that started making taxable supplies of goods and services and made the following sales:

Calculation for public service bodies – Example 2
Quarter Amount
First quarter (January 1 to March 31) $7,000
Second quarter (April 1 to June 30) $15,000
Third quarter (July 1 to September 30) $58,000
  • You stopped being a small supplier the day you exceed the $50,000 threshold in one calendar quarter.
  • Your effective date of registration is no later than the day of the supply that made you exceed $50,000.
  • You have to start charging GST/HST on your date of registration (including the sale that made you exceed the $50,000 threshold).
  • You will have to register within 29 days of your effective date of registration.

Example 3 – Exceed the $50,000 threshold amount in 2 consecutive calendar quarters

On October 1, 2017, your public service body started making taxable supplies of goods and services and made the following sales:

Calculation for public service bodies – Example 3
Quarter Amount
First quarter (January 1 to March 31) $35,000
Second quarter (April 1 to June 30) $35,000
Total $70,000

In April 2018, your sales totaled $8,000.

Your first sale after April was on May 1, 2018.

  • You stopped being a small supplier on April 30, 2018, because that day is the end of the month after the quarter you exceed $50,000 threshold.
  • Your effective date of registration is no later than May 1, 2018. That date is when you made your first supply after you stopped being a small supplier.
  • You have to start charging GST/HST on your date of registration.
  • You will have to register within 29 days of your effective date of registration.

Example 4 – Exceed the $50,000 threshold amount within the previous 4 consecutive calendar quarters

On April 1, 2017, your public service body started making taxable supplies of goods and services and made the following sales:

Calculation for public service bodies – Example 4
Quarter Amount
First quarter (April 1 to June 30) $7,000
Second quarter (July 1 to September 30) $15,000
Third quarter (October 1 to December 31) $17,000
Fourth quarter (January 1 to March 31) $13,000
Total $52,000

In April 2018, your sales totaled $4,500.

Your first sale after April was on May 2, 2018.

  • You stopped being a small supplier on April 30, 2018 because that day is the end of the month after the quarter you exceed the $50,000 threshold.
  • Your effective date of registration is no later than May 2, 2018. That date is when you made your fist supply after you stopped being a small supplier.
  • You have to start charging GST/HST on your date of registration.
  • You'll have to register within 29 days of your effective date of registration.
Non-residents

Non-residents

You may be carrying on business in Canada even if you do not have a permanent establishment in Canada.

Non-residents wanting to register for the GST/HST can fill out Form RC1, Request for a Business Number and Certain Program Accounts, and fax or mail it to your designated non-resident tax services office.

To get the mailing address, fax, or telephone number of the appropriate designated non-resident tax services office for your location, see Non-resident GST/HST enquiries. Use the following table to find out if you have to register for a GST/HST account.

Non-residents
If you are a non-resident and Then What you need to do

You make taxable sales, leases, or other supplies (including zero-rated supplies) in Canada in the course of carrying on business activity in Canada.

You have to register if you are not a small supplier.

For most businesses, see Small supplier limit calculation.

For charities and public institutions, see Small supplier limit calculation.

For other public service bodies, see Small supplier limit calculation.

You arrange the sales of books, newspapers, magazines, periodicals, or similar printed publications in Canada or you offer such goods for sale in Canada, either through an employee or agent, or by means of advertising directed at the Canadian market, and send the publications by mail or courier to the recipient at an address in Canada.

You have to register if you are not a small supplier.

For most businesses, see Small supplier limit calculation.

For charities and public institutions, see Small supplier limit calculation.

For other public service bodies, see Small supplier limit calculation.

You sponsor (host) a convention in Canada and more than 25% of the attendees are residents of Canada.

You have to register even if you are a small supplier.

See How to register for a GST/HST account.

You make taxable sales, leases, or other supplies (including zero-rated supplies) of admissions in Canada for a place of amusement, a seminar, an activity, or an event held in Canada.

You have to register even if you are a small supplier.

See How to register for a GST/HST account.

You do not carry on business in Canada (except if you make taxable sales, leases, or other supplies of admissions in Canada for a place of amusement, a seminar, an activity, or an event held in Canada).

You do not have to register.

See if any other situation in this chart applies to you.

You sell taxable real property located in Canada other than in the usual course of a business.

You do not have to register.

See if any other situation in this chart applies to you.

If your business is registered for the GST, it is also registered for the HST.

Non-resident with a security deposit

Generally, you have to provide a security deposit if you apply to be registered for the GST/HST and either:

Exception

You have to estimate the amount of your taxable sales, leases or other supplies in Canada. Security is not required if your estimate is $100,000 annually or less and your annual net tax will be between $3,000 remittable and $3,000 refundable.

The security deposit would be:

  • for the first year the amount of security is 50% of your estimated net tax, whether positive or negative, during the 12-month period after you register
  • for the following years, the amount of security is 50% of your actual net tax, whether positive or negative, for the last 12-month period.

The maximum security would be $1 million. The minimum is $5,000.

Your security may be in the form of one of the following:

  • cash
  • certified cheque
  • money order
  • a qualifying bond

Cash or cash equivalents (such as a certified cheque or a money order) may be used to pay other outstanding debts to the CRA at the time the security is released. CRA does not accept non-transferable bonds such as Canada Savings Bonds. For more information on the current security requirements, contact your tax services office.

Taxi operator or commercial ride-sharing driver

Taxi operator or commercial ride-sharing driver

A driver who supplies taxable commercial ride-sharing services is deemed to be a taxi business for GST/HST purposes and has to register and charge GST/HST on their fares in the same manner as taxi operators.

If you are a self-employed taxi driver or commercial ride-sharing driver, you have to register for the GST/HST even if you are a small supplier. You are usually self-employed if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You own your taxicab/motor vehicle.
  • You lease a taxicab/motor vehicle from an owner for a flat fee, either on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  • You lease the taxicab/motor vehicle from an owner for a percentage of fares.

Your effective date of registration is the day you start supplying taxable passenger transportation services.

To find out if you are self-employed or an employee, you can request a ruling to have your status determined by using Form CPT1, Request for a Ruling as to the Status of a Worker under the Canada Pension Plan and/or the Employment Insurance Act.

For more information, see GST/HST information for taxi operators and commercial ride-sharing drivers.

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