If you are a small business whose total taxable revenue before expenses is $30,000 or less in the last four consecutive calendar quarters or a public service such as a non-profit organization with total tax revenues of less than $50,000 in the last four consecutive calendar quarters you are classified as a GST/HST small supplier and you do not have to charge GST/HST. That applies unless you are a taxi or limousine operator or a non-resident performer who sell admissions to seminars or other events, who must register for GST no matter how small their income is.
If you do not qualify as a small business then you will need to charge, collect and remit GST. To start the process you will need to register for a GST account with the CRA. You will then keep track of all the GST that you charge or pay and complete a GST tax return each quarter or assigned reporting period which can also be monthly or annually depending upon your total taxable supplies of goods and services in the previous fiscal year when you register.
Even if you do not qualify as a small supplier it may be to your advantage to register for the GST. Though you will be paying GST on the goods and services that you use in the course of your business you will also be able to recover some of the GST that you paid out on business purchases through Input Tax Credits.
You must submit your GST returns on time according to your reporting period schedule even if you have not conducted any business or collected any GST during that period. On each report you will show the amount of GST that you charged your customers and the amount of GST that you paid or owe your suppliers. The difference between these two amounts is the amount of tax you will pay. Of course it is not as simple as it sounds as you may have GST charged but not paid to you and bad debts adjustments so you may need to refer to RC4022 - General Information for GST/HST Registrants for help.
When your form is completed you have a number of ways that you can pay the amount you owe.
If you do not File a GST return on time, unless you have a $0 balance you will be subject to penalties.
From an article by Susan Ward
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