Depending on which province you live in, you are charged either the Goods and Service Tax (GST) or the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on most purchases you make.
About 11.9 million Canadian households qualified for the GST/HST credit in 2020.
If you are earning below a certain income, you might qualify for a GST or HST credit. The credit is cash that the government gives back to you, which doesn’t happen very often!
GST and HST Payment Dates In Canada (2023)
You will receive payments quarterly if you qualify for the GST/HST credit.
Here is the upcoming GST/HST payment schedule:
- January 5, 2023
- April 5, 2023
- July 5, 2023
- October 5, 2023
- Sometimes the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is slow with the payments. Wait ten business days before contacting them.
- You can check the status of your GST/HST credit online by logging into your myCRA account.
- I recommend setting up a direct deposit to your bank, which can also be done in your myCRA account. That way, there’s no way you can miss any cheques in the mail if you change addresses.
Like most countries, the Canadian government taxes the sale of goods and services. This is known as the GST tax. The current GST tax rate is 5% and applies to all goods and services that you pay for in the country, regardless of the province.
Technically speaking, businesses are responsible for paying GST tax to the CRA. However, licensed businesses are allowed to pass these taxes on to their customers (and 99% of them do). They collect the tax and pay it directly to the government.
The GST tax credit is an initiative offered by the CRA to help lower-income families and individuals. As long as you meet the criteria (discussed below), then you’ll receive a quarter fixed-rate payment based on your annual income.
GST Tax vs. HST Tax: What’s The Difference?
In addition to the federal GST tax, which must be paid by all Canadian businesses, some provinces charge their own Provincial Sales Tax (PST) to support local initiatives, such as education, roads, etc.
In some provinces, PST and GST taxes are charged separately. If you look at your transaction receipts, you’ll see two tax amounts, one for the GST and one for the PST.
To simplify things, some provinces have chosen to combine the federal GST with their own provincial PST to create a unified Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). This makes it somewhat easier for businesses to pay their taxes and also makes things easy to understand for consumers.
Provinces That Only Charge The Federal GST
At this time, there are four Canadian provinces and territories that don’t charge any provincial sales tax, which means there’s no need for a combined HST. Only the 5% federal GST tax is charged in the following regions:
- Northwest Territories
Provinces That Charge Provincial Sales Tax (PST) Separately
In addition to the 5% federal GST, the following provinces charge their own provincial sales tax separately:
- British Columbia: 7% PST
- Quebec: 9.975% PST
- Manitoba: 7% PST
- Saskatchewan: 6% PST
Provinces With Harmonized Sales Tax (Includes GST)
The following provinces have elected to combine their provincial sales tax with the 5% federal GST to form a harmonized sales tax (HST):
- Ontario: 13%
- Nova Scotia: 15%
- Prince Edward Island: 15%
- Newfoundland and Labrador: 15%
- New Brunswick: 15%
To summarize, here’s a quick table outlining the territories and provinces, along with the GST, PST, and HST applicable in each:
|Province or Territory||Federal GST Tax Rate||Provincial Sales Tax (PST) Rate, Charged Separately||Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) Rate, Includes 5% GST|
|Prince Edward Island||x||x||15%|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||x||x||15%|
You are generally eligible for the GST/HST credit if you are a Canadian resident and pay income taxes. To qualify, you also need to meet any one of the following criteria:
- 19 years old or older
- Have (or had) a spouse or common-law partner
- Are (or were) a parent and live (lived) with your child
In addition to these criteria, your annual net income must be below a certain threshold. The income threshold to receive a GST/HST tax credit depends on your current living situation (which I’ve outlined below).
Parents with shared custody may be eligible for half each of the GST/HST credit payments for each child.
If a child welfare agency is responsible for the child, you are generally not eligible for the credit anymore for that particular child.
Learn more at the CRA website here.
How Do I Know If I’m Eligible For A GST/HST Tax Credit?
If you are a new resident of Canada, then you’ll need to review the criteria for GST/HST tax credit eligibility. If you meet the criteria, then you can apply for this credit through the CRA.
If you’re already a Canadian resident and have filed your income taxes, then the CRA will notify you if your tax returns indicate that you’re eligible. They will either mail you a physical letter or send you a notice via your CRA MyAccount.
Canadian taxpayers no longer need to apply for this credit. If you’re eligible for the credit, it will be automatically applied, and you’ll begin receiving quarterly payments.
If you have not been notified by the CRA that you’re an eligible candidate for the GST/HST tax credit and believe this is an error, you can contact a CRA agent by calling 1-800-387-1193 to review your case.
How To Calculate Your Estimated GST/HST Tax Credit
The easiest way to determine the amount of your GST/HST tax credit payment is to use the CRA’s built-in benefits calculator. Just enter your information into the calculator, and you’ll receive a quote with your estimated benefits.
Your GST/HST credit payments will vary based on two factors:
- Your family (or single) net income
- The number of children under 19 years old that you have registered for both the Canada child benefit and the GST/HST credit
Note that July 2022 to June 2023 payment will be the start of a new calendar year for GST payments, and it will be based on your 2021 tax returns.
For the 2021 base year (payment period is between July 2022 – June 2023):
- Single person: $467/year
- Married or common-law: $612/year total for both
- Child under 19: $161/year for each child
The payments are paid out according to a July-June calendar and based on your previous year’s income.
Be aware that if you don’t file your taxes, you won’t receive your GST/HST credit.
Jordan is single. In 2021, he earned $20,000 net income. For the 2022-2023 benefit year, Jordan received an annual base credit amount of $467 based on his 2021 net income (This is how much he would receive in a normal year).
His GST/HST credit entitlement of $467 is given in four quarterly payments of $116 on the payment dates.
For payments starting July 2022-June 2023, income levels are based on your 2021 income, here are the income levels where you will stop receiving GST/HST:
|Family structure||Adjusted family net income|
|Single parent with one child||$55,286|
|Single parent with two children||$58,506|
|Single parent with three children||$61,726|
|Single parent with four children||$64,946|
|Married/common-law couple with no children||$52,066|
|Married/common-law couple with one child||$55,286|
|Married/common-law couple with two children||$58,506|
|Married/common-law couple with three children||$61,726|
|Married/common-law couple with four children||$64,946|
Your GST/HST credit payments could be affected if:
- Your family’s net income changes
- Your eligible child turns 19 years old
- The number of eligible children in your care changes
- You get married, divorced, or separate from your common-law partner.
- There is a death of a recipient
- You start or stop sharing custody of a child with your partner
In addition to the GST/HST tax credit issued by the CRA, you may also be eligible for provincial tax credits, depending on where you live. These tax credits will be issued along with your GST credit as a combined payment.
Here’s a brief list of the provincial tax credits you may be eligible for:
- New Brunswick HST Credit
- British Columbia Climate Action Tax Credit
- Nova Scotia Affordable Living Tax Credit
- Newfoundland and Labrador Senior Benefit
- Newfoundland and Labrador Income Supplement
- Saskatchewan Low-Income Tax Credit
- Prince Edward Island Sales Tax Credit
Note: If you are eligible for the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, then this will be issued as part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit, and the combined amount will be issued on the 10th of every month.
The Ontario Trillium Benefit is designed to help low to moderate-income Ontario residents offset energy costs, sales taxes, and property taxes.
For most people, all you have to do is file your taxes every year to get your GST/HST credit. There are some special circumstances, though, outlined here:
If you’ve recently moved to Canada and have started paying taxes, you’ll need to fill out some forms to apply for the GST/HST tax credit. To get the GST/HST credit, you have to do the following:
New resident with children: Fill out the Canada Child Benefits Application Form RC66
New resident with no children: Fill out the GST/HST Credit application for Individuals Who Become Residents of Canada Form.
Mail the signed forms to your provincial tax center: List is found here
If you didn’t apply for the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) or have another child that you are caring for, you might need to manually register the child in order to get the GST/HST credit for them. Register the child using your myCRA online account, or call the CRA for more details.
If you have not filed income taxes with the CRA, then they won’t have sufficient data to determine your eligibility for the GST tax credit. This means that you won’t receive any payment, even if you meet the criteria.
If you believe that you were eligible for the GST/HST tax credit, you can apply for it retroactively, though. First, you’ll need to file your missing income tax returns, though.
The CRA allows you to retroactively claim GST/HST credit and receive payments for up to three years prior to the date of filing.
In addition to the general information I provided above, here are some quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions I get about the GST/HST tax credit.
No, it is not. It’s similar to the annual tax refund issued by the CRA. The GST/HST payment you receive is the result of taxes that you already paid during the previous tax year. The government is essentially cutting eligible individuals a break and saying, “You don’t have to pay us these taxes, so we’re giving your tax money back to you”
Is The GST Credit Based On Income?
Yes, the GST/HST credit is dependent upon your income, along with your age and living status. See the chart above to determine if you’re eligible for this tax credit based on your current annual income.
When will the GST credit be deposited?
The GST/HST tax credit is issued on a quarterly basis (every three months) during the first week of January, April, July, and October.
What happens to my GST/HST credit if I move?
Let the CRA know your new address right away. Even if you have signed up for direct deposit, you might still not get your credit if you don’t inform them of your new address.
Can I Be Overpaid A GST/HST Credit?
In some rare cases, the CRA tax system may make an error and overpay you. In such cases, you’ll receive a mailed letter or notice through your CRA MyAccount with a remittance form.
They will deduct the overage amount from your next income tax return or future GST payments.
What are the Ontario GST dates?
Every province, including Ontario, will have the same dates that the GST/HST credit is deposited. The credit is issued at a federal level, not provincial.
Why are there so many names for the GST/HST credit payment date? It gets confusing.
The GST/HST credit is commonly called many things by Canadians. It can go by GST cheque dates, GST rebate dates, Canada GST Dates, GST check dates, GST return dates, GST refund dates, and GST Pay Dates.
Just know that they are all referring to the same thing – the GST/HST credit payment outlined in this article.
If you still have questions about your taxes and the credits you’re eligible for, CRA agents are more than happy to answer your questions.
The two main ways you can contact the CRA for your GST/HST questions are:
- Online using your myCRA account
- By phone at 1-800-387-1193
The GST/HST credit is important for many Canadian families and can provide much-needed relief during tough times.
Make sure you are getting the proper amount and filing your taxes so you can receive it.
I hope this article has helped you learn more about the GST/HST credit. If you’d like to learn other ways to manage your money as a Canadian, check out this TFSA vs RRSP article.