Canadian GST compliance and rates

Canadian GST compliance

The rules surrounding the application of GST in Canada cover a range of areas including:

  • Invoice requirements
  • Foreign currency treatment and rates
  • Which expenses may be recovered against GST liabilities
  • Relief for bad debts
  • Fines and penalties

Canadian GST returns

Businesses GST registered in Canada must submit periodic GST returns.  The frequency depends on the annual turnover of the business:

  • Monthly – over CND6 million
  • Quarterly – CND1.5 million to CND6 million
  • Annually – below CND1.5m

The returns are due by the end of the following calendar month.  The annual return should be filed within three months of the year end.  Filings are electronic only for any business above CAD1.5m per annum.  Any GST or HST is paid by electronic transfer simultaneously to the filing.  There is the provision to pay quarterly installments for businesses on Annual Returns.


Canadian GST, PST and QST rates

Canadian Federal GST is charged at 5%.  This is combined in most Provinces with the local PST, which are set between 5% and 9%, to create a Harmonised Sales Tax (HST) rate.

Canadian VAT Rates

Rate Type Which goods or services
5% - Alberta: 0% Provincial sales tax + 5% Federal GST
12% - British Columbia: 7% Provincial sales tax + 5% Federal GST
12% - Manitoba: 7% Provincial sales tax + 5% Federal GST
15% - New Brunswick : 10% Provincial sales tax + 5% Federal GST (combined 15% Harmonised sales tax)
15% - Newfoundland : 10% Provincial sales tax + 5% Federal GST (combined 15% Harmonised sales tax)
5% - Northwest Territories : 5% Federal GST
15% - Nova Scotia : 10% Provincial sales tax + 5% Federal GST (combined 15% Harmonised sales tax)
13% - Ontario : 8% Provincial sales tax + 5% Federal GST
15% - Prince Edward Island : 10% Provincial sales tax + 5% Federal GST (combined 15% Harmonised sales tax)
14.975% - Quebec : 9.975% Provincial sales tax + 5% Federal GST
11% - Saskatchewan : 6% Provincial sales tax + 5% Federal GST
5% - Yukon : 5% Federal GST
0% Zero GST zero rated for exports and associated services; some financial services; food and agriculture; medical goods and services.

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