As most of you know, GST stands for “government sales tax.” But who has to pay it, and what kinds of goods and services does it apply to? Jibe Accounting has your answers.

If you are self-employed, the Canada Revenue Agency assumes that you own a business. If you own a business by yourself, you have a sole proprietorship. Operate with a partner? You’ve got a partnership. If you are a business required to have a GST/HST registration number, you must charge and account for the GST on taxable supplies. A business might include manufacturing, profession, a trade, or any activity done on a regular basis that involves providing of property.

In Alberta, we do not charge an HST, or “harmonized sales tax.” While most goods and services supplied in Canada are subject to GST, an HST is charged in provinces who have amalgamated, or “harmonized,” their GSTs and PSTs, otherwise known as a “provincial sales tax.” New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Prince Edward Island all charge an HST.

Individually, almost everyone has to pay GST on purchased goods and services. However, some goods and services are charged 0% GST. This includes basic groceries such as milk and bread, prescription drugs, and medical supplies such as hearing aids. Services exempt include a variety of educational services and most medical procedures necessary for healthy living (dental and medical).

As part of a company, a registrant means a person or organization that is registered for GST/HST. A GST/HST registrant collects and remits GST/HST, and has to file GST/HST returns regularly. If your business’s reporting period is monthly or quarterly, you have to file your GST/HST return and pay the amount you owe one month after the end of your reporting period. If you are an individual with a December 31 year fiscal year end, you have to file your GST/HST return by June 15th and pay all outstanding amounts by April 30th.

Jibe Accounting can help you with any GST/HST questions you may have. Contact us today to set up a meeting and file your GST/HST return.

Click on the below link to be referred to a complete list of GST/HST definitions and practices:


Written by: Kate Mundy

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