Important: You no longer need to apply for the GST/HST tax credit. Starting in 2014, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will automatically determine if you’re eligible for it when you file your tax return.
The GST/HST credit is a tax-free payment designed to help low income Canadians recover some of the GST or HST that they paid on goods and services.
You’re eligible for this credit if you’re a resident of Canada in the month before and at the beginning of the month in which the GST/HST credit is issued and at least one of the following applies:
- You’re 19 years of age or older
- You have (or previously had) a spouse or common-law partner
- You’re (or previously were) a parent and live (or previously lived) with your child
To receive the GST/HST credit, you must file your income tax return each year – even if you had zero income for the year. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will automatically determine if you qualify for the credit when you file your next tax return for 2014 or later years. If you’re filing a tax return for a year prior to 2014, you can respond to the following question on your return to apply for the GST/HST credit: Are you applying for the GST/HST credit?. If you qualify for it, you’ll receive a confirmation from the CRA.
Did you know? If you’re turning 19 before April 1, 2017, you should file a 2015 tax return if you haven’t already. That way, if you’re eligible for the GST/HST credit, you’ll receive the first payment the month after your 19th birthday!
If you’re a new resident of Canada, you can apply for the GST/HST credit by completing the RC151: GST/HST Credit Application for Individuals Who Become Residents of Canada form.
How is the GST/HST credit calculated?
Your monthly payment is based on:
- The number of children you have who’re registered for the Canada child benefit (CCB) and GST/HST credit
- Your family net income for the previous year
If you’re single, your family net income can be found on line 236 of your return.
If you have a spouse or common-law partner, their net income is added with yours to determine your family’s net income. Keep in mind, your child’s net income is not included in the family net income.
Note: If you have a spouse, only one of you can receive the credit (it’s paid to the person whose return is assessed first) – the amount remains the same regardless of who receives it.
When are the GST/HST credit payments made?
If you qualify for GST/HST credit, the payments are usually issued on the fifth day of the month in July, October, January, and April. Check out the CRA’s website for more details on benefit payment dates.
Note: Remember, you’ll need to file your tax return before the deadline each year in order to continue receiving your GST/HST payments without interruption.
How do I register my child for the GST/HST credit?
Your child is already registered for the GST/HST credit if:
- at the time of their birth, you provided your consent to use the Automated Benefits Application service on the provincial/territorial birth registration form
- you’ve applied for the Canada child benefit (CCB) for this child
If you’re a new parent or if you’ve just become the primary caregiver of a child, you can register them by completing the Apply for child benefits online service on My Account or by completing the RC66: Canada Child Benefits Application form.
Note: You can’t register a child who is legally, physically or financially maintained by a child welfare agency.