If you belong to the low to medium income bracket, then you are automatically eligible for GST/HST credit. Along with annual taxes, most Canadians pay for consumer goods and services or GST on a daily basis. It is already added to the prices of goods and services as well as in transactions in properties like land, house, intangible personal property like downloaded products from the internet. In some parts of Canada, GST is combined with provincial sales tax to create a harmonized sales tax or HST. HST varies by province and adds a significant amount to purchased goods and services. With GST/HST credit, Canadians with low to medium income can get back a portion of all federal sales tax they pay.
What exactly is GST/HST credit?
GST/HST credit is a tax-free initiative to help Canadians with medium to low income by offsetting the amount of GST or HST they pay all through the year. It is issued quarterly every year by the CRA. Along with GST/HST credit, Canadians can also be eligible for certain provincial and territorial credits included in various payments they made.
Who is eligible for the GST HST tax credit?
If one turns 18, one must file for income tax even though they do not have any income so that they can immediately be eligible for GST/HST credit in the first pay period after they reach the age of 19. Otherwise, every Canadian who files taxes is automatically eligible for this. If an individual fits the criteria of GST/HST credit then he/she will receive a notice of determination. In the case of eligible couples, the tax credit will be paid and the notice of determination will be paid to the spouse whose tax return is calculated first. Every ineligible person will be sent a notice and they can always object to this notice if necessary. If one is eligible the notice and payment will be made by direct deposit or mailed by cheque.
How to apply for the GST/HST credit?
If you are an international student or newly have shifted to Canada, can apply for GST/HST tax credit by following the below steps:
- First, apply for a social insurance number (SIN)
- Fill out the RC151, GST / HST Credit Application for individuals becoming residents of Canada who do not have children above the age of 19.
- If one has children, then fill out the application RC66, Canada Child Benefit Application.
- Mail the completely filled form to the tax center.
As an individual newly arrived in Canada, one has up to three years to ask for a retroactive payment. You can also claim GST/HST credit for a child who is under the age of 19 and also living with you. At the beginning of the month you can claim for it if the child is:
- Your child is dependent on you or your spouse for support.
- Under the age of 19.
- Never had a common-law partner or spouse.
- Never had a child with whom they live.
- One who lives with you.
If one is responsible for primarily taking care of a child or giving birth to a child, then they can apply for the tax credit by directly applying for Canada child benefit or mailing the R66 form to their respective tax center. Changes in their marital status or individual situation such as divorce, marriage, death, and childbirth may lead the CRA to recalculate the GST/HST credit.
How much money is the GST/HST credit?
The amount you receive as GST/HST credit depends on whether you are married or not, how many children you have, and your family income. For the 2020 tax year, which pays out from 2021 to 2022, the maximum amount is:
- If one is single, then $456.
- If one is married or has a common-law partner, then $598.
- For each child under 19 years, the amount would be $157
The CRA sends the tax credit payment on the 5th day of July, October, January, and April.
GST/HST tax credit can help Canadians with medium to low income, save a lot of their hard-earned money. Billah and Associate’s tax accountants help Canadians file their taxes at the right time, apply for Canada Child Benefit and get GST/HST tax credit as well.