Items and Services Tax or GST can be a consumption tax which is charged on most products and services sold within Canada, regardless of where your small business is located. Subject to certain exceptions, all businesses must charge GST, currently at 5%, plus applicable provincial sales taxes. A small business effectively represents a representative for Revenue Canada by collecting the taxes and remitting them on the periodic basis. Companies are also able to claim the required taxes paid on expenses incurred that relate with their business activities. These are generally termed as Input Tax Credits.
Does Your company Should Register? Just before starting any kind of commercial activity in Canada, all business people need to see how the GST and relevant provincial taxes affect them. Essentially, all businesses that sell goods and services in Canada, to make money, must charge GST, except in these circumstances:
Estimated sales for that business for 4 consecutive calendar quarters is required to get below $30,000. Revenue Canada views these companies as small suppliers and they’re therefore exempt.
The business activity is GST exempt. Exempt products or services includes residential land and property, daycare services, most health and medical services etc.
Although a little supplier, i.e. an enterprise with annual sales less than $30,000 is not required to file for GST, occasionally it’s good to do so. Since an enterprise could only claim Input Tax Credits (GST paid on expenses) if they’re registered, companies, mainly in the start-up phase where expenses exceed sales, might discover actually in a position to recover lots of taxes. This has to be balanced contrary to the potential competitive advantage achieved from not charging the GST, as well as the additional administrative costs (hassle) from having to file returns.
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