CRA & Revenu Québec, Credits & Deductions, Families, Tips & Advice

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) / Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) Credit

The Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) Credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low or modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay.  GST/HST is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Many provinces offer related GST/HST programs.

Application and Eligibility

Canadian Taxpayers do not have to directly apply for the GST/HST credit, instead, when the CRA receives their personal income tax returns, they automatically determine eligibility and then advise the taxpayer.

To be eligible for the credit, you must be;

A resident of Canada in the month prior to and at the beginning of the month in which the GST/HST credit is issued, and, at least one of the following must apply:

  • You are 19 years of age or older before the month in which the CRA issues a quarterly payment;
  • You have a spouse or common-law partner;
  • You are a parent and live with your child.

If you will be turning the age of 19 during the year, you might want to consider filing a tax return, which would entitle you to receive the GST/HST credit.  Your first payment will be after the month of your 19th birthday. For example, if you turn 19 years of age in July, August or September 2016, you are eligible for the GST/HST credit starting in October 2016, as it is the first payment date after the month of your 19th birthday.

If you have a spouse or common-law partner, only one of you can receive the credit. The credit will be paid to the person whose return is assessed first. The amount will be the same regardless of who receives it.

Calculation of the Credit

The CRA calculates your GST/HST credit based on the number of children that you have registered for the Canada Child Tax Benefit or the GST/HST credit, as well as your net family income for the previous year. You can check how many eligible children are registered in the Benefits and Credits section of the CRA’s My Account online service.

For 2018, the basic GST /HST credit is;

  • $433 if you are single
  • $568 if you are married or living common-law
  • $149 for each child under the age of 19

The CRA could recalculate your GST/HST credit payment when:

  • a reassessment of either your or your spouse or common-law partner’s tax return results in a change to your family net income
  • your eligible child turns 19 years of age
  • your marital status changes
  • the number of eligible children in your care changes
  • a recipient dies
  • you start, or stop, sharing custody of a child

Payment of the Credit

The GST/HST credit is paid quarterly in January, April, July and October of each year, usually on the fifth day of the month. You can see the date and amount of your next payment in the Benefits and Credits section of My Account. You can also use the CRA’s MyAccount to set up direct deposit for your GST/HST credit.

If your payment does not arrive on time, you should wait ten working days and then call the CRA.