Here is a question that almost every small business owner asks, especially when first starting their business.  

“How do I file my HST?”  “Can you do it for me?” Or, “Is it easy, can I do it on my own?”

Here I share a detailed explanation on the regular or simplified method of HST reporting. Check out my blog on quick method of HST reporting here.

First thing’s first, you need to have an HST number in order to collect and claim HST to the government. Once you have an HST number you will then need to file an HST return for each reporting period.  Your reporting period is based on the revenue your business has earned, and the HST payables may have to be remitted annually (once a year), quarterly, or on a monthly basis.

If a business was not compliant or failed to report their HST on time they may have to change their reporting period. So for example, a quarterly remittance may now need to remit HST returns monthly. (What a great incentive to keep on top of deadlines?!)

The other situation where a remitting period can change is when the business decides to change their reporting period on their own. In my experience, this happens when an HST return is reported annually, however if the small business owes HST at the end of the year, the amount owed can be overwhelming to pay all at once. In this case it is more manageable for the small business to break up their remittance into more manageable periods. To change your reporting period with Revenue Canada you would need to make that request by filing a GST70 form.

How to Record your HST

You can report your HST a couple different ways. Either through paper method or online.  

If you report online you will need a 4-digit access code. If you do not have an access code you can get one by calling Canada Revenue Agency Business number: 1-800-959-5525  then you can go to GST/HST net file: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-businesses/gst-hst-netfile.html

Whether reporting online or the paper method you will need the following:

  • Total sales for the reporting period (do not include HST collected) goes on line 101
  • Total HST collected on sales report on line 105 on the HST return
  • Total HST ITC (Input Tax Credits) HST that you paid during the period – goes on line 108

Then, if filing online the net tax is calculated for you, if you are filing the paper route you will need to calculate the net tax on your own.  The end result is that you will either have tax payable or a refund.

Some small business owners are not always sure about how to remit their HST return, where and what to report.  HST is a complex tax, with issues that might be specific to your business.

Would you like to talk about HST issues you may have? Please reach out to Susan Ivanovics, CPA at: susanivanovics@rogers.com