The GST/HST credit is a tax-free payment that is paid out quarterly to eligible individuals.
Good and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is levied when you pay for most goods and services in Canada.
To help low-moderate income families offset the burden of this additional taxation, the federal government provides a credit that is paid out every quarter.
The amount of GST/HST credit you receive is based on your income level during the previous taxation year-end and the number of children you have.
GST/HST Payment Dates for 2021
The Canada Revenue Agency will pay out the GST/HST credit for 2021 on these dates:
- January 5, 2021
- April 1, 2021
- July 5, 2021
- October 5, 2021
You can receive your payments via direct deposit to your Canadian bank account. if you’d like to view your benefit information and amounts, you can do so using the CRA My Account Service.
What is the GST/HST Credit?
The GST is a federal tax levied on goods and services purchased in Canada.
Some provinces like Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have incorporated the federal GST into their provincial sales tax regime to form the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
The GST is 5% and HST (including GST) is as follows:
- New Brunswick: 15%
- Newfoundland and Labrador: 15%
- Nova Scotia: 15%
- Ontario: 13%
- Prince Edward Island: 15%
Provinces in which GST is collected separately charge their own provincial sales tax (PST) as follows:
- Manitoba: 7%
- Quebec: 9.975%
- Saskatchewan: 6%
- British Columbia: 7%
The following provinces and territories do not have a provincial sales tax and only the 5% GST applies:
- Northwest Territories
Who is Eligible for GST/HST Credit?
You may be eligible to receive the GST/HST credit if you meet any of the following criteria:
- You are 19 years of age or older
- You have (or had) a spouse or common-law partner
- You are (or were) a parent and live (or lived) with your child
You must be a Canadian resident for income tax purposes and have a social insurance number (SIN) because the government uses your income tax return to determine whether or not you are eligible.
Applying for the GST/HST Credit
Since the 2014 taxation years, CRA automatically determines if you are eligible for GST/HST credit when you file your annual benefit and tax return.
You do not need to have any income to qualify.
Newcomers to Canada who have yet to file a tax return can apply for the GST/HST credit by following the steps below:
- If you have children, complete Form RC66.
- If you do not have children, complete Form RC151.
- Send the completed form to the CRA office in your province.
When you apply for the Canada Child Benefit, you will likely automatically receive the GST/HST credit for your child.
If your child’s GST/HST credit has not been added to your household credit, you can add them by:
- Applying for child benefits through your CRA My Account. You will need to add your child’s name, gender, date and place of birth. Or,
- Complete Form RC66 and mail it to the Canada Revenue Agency.
How Much GST/HST Credit Will You Get?
The amount of GST/HST credit you receive depends on your individual (or family) net income and number of children under age 19 in your household.
Payments are made on a July to June schedule and are based on your tax return for the previous year.
For example, for July 2020 to June 2021 payment period, your 2019 tax return is used (i.e. your net income for 2019). For July 2021 to June 2022 payment period, your tax return for the 2020 taxation year will be used.
If you are eligible to receive GST/HST credits based on your 2020 tax return, CRA will send you a GST/HST credit notice in July 2021.
How much will you get and what is the income threshold when you receive nothing?
For the July 2020 to June 2021 payment period that is based on your 2019 net income, you will receive GST/HST credits when your family income is less than:
Recipients who are single can get up to $451, married couples can get up to $592, plus up to $155 per child under age 19.
CRA has this useful calculator to estimate your GST/HST credit.
Pro Hint: You need to file a tax return to qualify for the GST/HST credit. Submit a return even if you don’t have any income to report for the year.
if your circumstances change e.g. your marital status or number of children, update your information by contacting the CRA directly or use My Account.
Provincial Programs and GST/HST Credit
The following provincial programs are administered by the CRA in conjunction with GST/HST payments:
- BC climate action tax credit
- New Brunswick harmonized sales tax credit
- Newfoundland and Labrador income supplement
- Newfoundland and Labrador senior’s benefit
- Nova Scotia affordable living tax credit
- Ontario sales tax credit
- Prince Edward Island sales tax credit
- Saskatchewan low-income tax credit
If you qualify for any of these programs, your benefits are combined with your GST/HST credit payment.
Ontario’s sales tax credit is combined with the Ontario Trillium benefit.
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GST/HST Credit FAQs
Some of the popular questions relating to GST/HST credits are:
Typically, GST/HST credit payments are made on the fifth day (on or before) of July, October, January and April. Allow up to 10 working days before you contact CRA if you haven’t yet received your benefit.
A single individual would qualify for the GST/HST credit if their 2019 income was less than $47,527. For a couple with three children, the maximum threshold is $59,647. Refer to the table above for more scenarios.
Yes, your net income (individual or household) and the number of children under age 19 in your case determine how much GST credit you receive.
You can use the calculator provided by the government here.
The Ontario Trillium Benefit is a combination of three credits including the Northern Ontario energy credit, Ontario energy and property tax credit, and Ontario sales tax credit. Payments are issued on the 10th of each month.
Have a question about GST payments and amounts? Leave them in the comments.