How to collect, file and pay GST

Register for a GST account if you are an eligible entity and haven’t already registered 

To find out if you should register for a GST account, click When to register and start charging the GST.

A GST account number is part of a business number (BN) that is received after registering for a GST account online, by mail or by fax, or by telephone

Non-residents who want to register for a GST account can visit: Guide RC4027, Doing Business in Canada – GST Information for Non-Residents.

Charge and collect GST

1. Which rates to charge

To calculate the amount of tax to charge with the CRA’s GST Calculator, GST registrants must know their place of supply and type of supply. If the location in which they make their sale, lease, or other supply charges provincial sales tax (PST), calculate the GST based on the price without the PST. 

Note: Whether or not registrants should charge the tax may depend on who the taxable supply is made to as well as who makes the supply. To find out more, click Charge and collect the tax – which rate to charge.

2. Receipts and invoices

Registrants are required to:

  • let customers know if the GST is being applied to their purchase
  • use cash register receipts, invoices, contracts, or post signs at their place of business to inform customers whether the GST is included in the price, or added separately
  • if showing the tax payable or rate on tax in an invoice or receipt, show the total amount of GST payable for the supply or show the total GST rate that applies to the supply
  • if requested, provide customers with information that is required to claim an input tax credit or rebate
  • understand how to record the amount payable for a supply

The date of an invoice will generally determine when registrants need to report and remit the GST they charge (but there are exceptions).

3. What to do with collected GST

GST registrants are responsible for the tax that they collect until they send it to the CRA. Registrants are equally responsible for keeping records that will allow calculating the amount of:

  • GST that was required to be collected and GST collected
  • GST paid and payable on eligible business purchases and expenses
  • tax to be refunded, rebated, or deducted from their net tax

File a GST return and remit the tax you collected

At the end of each reporting period, GST registrants must:

Generally, registrants must file a return even if they don’t have any business transactions or net tax to remit. There are exceptions to this rule; filing deadlines depend on the registrants’ filing period.

A registrants’ remittance deadline is different than their filing deadline if they are either:

  • an annual filer and have to pay the GST by installments
  • an individual who is an annual filer with a December 31 fiscal year-end and has business income for tax purposes

If you are filing a personalized GST return, the due date is located at the top of your GST34-2, GST Return for Registrants.

Note: When a due date falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a public holiday recognized by the CRA, your remittance is considered on time if we receive it on the next business day.

GST returns can be filed electronically, by TELEFILE, or on paper. Before you choose a method, you must determine if you are required to file online and which online method you can use.

To find out how to calculate your net tax and what to include in your return, click Complete and file a return – Calculate the net tax

Once the CRA receives a registrant’s GST return, the CRA will send a notice of assessment if either:

  • the CRA owes you a refund or rebate
  • your amount owing is more than the amount you remitted 

A note on GST refunds/rebates

If you have to file any returns under the Excise Tax Act, the Income Tax Act, the Excise Act, 2001, or the Air Travellers Security Charge Act, but have not done so, any GST refund or rebate you are entitled to will be held until all required returns are filed. If you are a sole proprietor or partnership, your personal income tax refund will also be held.