The products and Services Tax or GST is often a consumption tax which is charged on most goods and services sold within Canada, regardless of where your company is located. At the mercy of certain exceptions, every business are required to charge GST, currently at 5%, plus applicable provincial sales taxes. A business effectively represents a real estate agent for Revenue Canada by collecting the required taxes and remitting them over a periodic basis. Companies are also able to claim the required taxes paid on expenses incurred that report with their business activities. They’re known as Input Tax Credits.
Does Your small business Need to Register? Ahead of engaging in any type of commercial activity in Canada, all business owners must figure out how the GST and relevant provincial taxes connect with them. Essentially, every business that sell products and services in Canada, to make money, are required to charge GST, with the exception of the next circumstances:
Estimated sales for your business for 4 consecutive calendar quarters is required to get less than $30,000. Revenue Canada views these businesses as small suppliers and they are generally therefore exempt.
The company activity is GST exempt. Exempt goods and services includes residential land and property, day care services, most health and medical services etc.
Although a little supplier, i.e. a company with annual sales below $30,000 isn’t required to submit GST, in some instances it’s beneficial to do so. Since a business is only able to claim Input Tax Credits (GST paid on expenses) should they be registered, many businesses, mainly in the launch phase where expenses exceed sales, may find that they are capable of recover a lot of taxes. This has to be balanced up against the potential competitive advantage achieved from not charging the GST, and also the additional administrative costs (hassle) from the need to file returns.
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