Canadian businesses have to file HST tax returns regularly with CRA. The process is usually straightforward, but many companies fail to submit their HST returns on time or make mistakes during preparation and filing, which result in penalties and fines. Our goal is to help business owners avoid that by taking care of all HST filing responsibilities and doing it on time and accurately.
HST account registration services
Once you decide to register for an HST account, there are a couple of options you have:
- Register for an HST account yourself
- Ask an accountant to do it for you
At Taxory, we help with HST account registration for all our business clients. We will prepare all necessary forms, choose the best HST method and the filing period for your business and deal with all questions CRA may ask during the HST registration process.
We already know all the nuances of opening an HST account, such as choosing the correct filing period, eligibility for a quick method after one year in business, etc. Consulting with an accountant before you open an HST account makes much sense.
HST Preparation according to your filing method
While HST preparation is relatively straightforward, we do not recommend business owners prepare it themself. Without proper training, you may take the wrong amount to calculate your HST, for example, a gross amount instead of a net amount, or put the calculated amount in the incorrect line of your HST return form.
We see that mistakes are widespread for our new clients, and in such cases, we have to file an HST adjustment with CRA. In the best case, when you have an HST refund, the CRA accepts the adjustment, but they may calculate penalties and fines in case of any balance owing. That is why it is essential to have professional help when preparing an HST report.
If you still decide to calculate HST yourself, you can do it, but for the first couple of returns, we will validate if everything is correct until you are confident and can do it on your own.
Quick and affordable HST filing services
Once we have prepared your HST return, there are two options for HST filing.
- We will file an HST return to CRA, and you need to pay the taxes using your online bank account.
- We will provide you with the “GST/HST Return Working Copy,” a form containing all the information you need. You can file and pay an HST tax return in your bank with that form.
Once the CRA receives your return, it may take up to five business days to process it, and then you can find your HST return in CRA My Business Account.
In case of an HST refund, CRA will issue a cheque and send it to you by regular mail. But if you want to receive the refund faster, we suggest you set up a direct deposit with the CRA so that the refund will be automatically deposited into your bank account. If you need help setting up direct deposit, let us know, we will provide you with instructions.
If you claim a large HST refund, do not be surprised if CRA will ask for an HST audit. The audit is a standard procedure, and you should not worry about it if you have all the records confirming your claim for the refund. Once the CRA completes the audit and approves your HST refund, you should get your refund shortly.
HST tax strategy and planning
Taxory has an extensive experience with HST, and we provide comprehensive HST filing services for all our corporate clients. We support our clients at all stages and try to save as much of their time as possible. In addition, we go beyond what most other accounting firms provide and present you with the best HST tax strategy to make sure your taxes are optimal.
HST calculation methods
Did you know that there are different HST return methods in Canada, and depending on your business activities, you may save 3-10% of the HST amount you pay to CRA?
There is two HST calculation method that exists
- The Regular method
- The Quick Method
Usually, accounting firms do not explain the differences between these methods to clients. Typically, that is because, for an accountant, there is no difference in what calculation way the client use. Also, not all accountants know about the HST Quick Method. However, eligible clients can save significant money when switching to the Quick Method. On average, small business owners can save $3,000-$5,000 per year (the final amount depends on your business type and revenue.)
At Taxory, we are familiar with the different HST filing methods and know what option to choose to take advantage of various tax rates and ensure our clients have the optimal tax strategy.
HST help and guidance
HST tax return preparation is a simple process, so if you decide to do it yourself, we can help and provide proper training. During the training session, we explain:
- What is HST, and when do you need to register and collect it from your clients.
- What HST calculation methods exist, and what would be the best for your business.
- The correct way to calculate HST return and fill out the filing form.
- How you can pay the HST or faster receive the refund if the resulting amount is negative
- In addition, we even help you to file your first return.
However, the HST services are already included in all our bookkeeping packages at no additional cost. We will prepare and file your HST return ourselves. All you have to do is pay the owing balance before the deadline.
We strongly recommend reviewing our packages and choosing the one you feel is the best fit for your business.
Filing HST tax return on time
HST filing deadline is different for different companies. It all depends on the reporting period and the first filing day you choose when opening your HST account. Usually, our clients file HST every three months or yearly, but we also have some who file their taxes monthly.
If you file your HST return yourself, make sure you know your deadline and do not miss them to avoid any penalties. Nevertheless, if you are already late with the filing, do not worry and get in touch with our professional accountant, who can help you in that case and explain how to remediate this issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
What HST stands for?
HST stands for Harmonized Sales Tax, and it is a combination of GST and provincial tax. The HST tax exists in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island, while the rest of the provinces except Quebec have only GST.
What GST stands for?
Is it mandatory to register for HST?
- Generally, if your business provides only exempt supplies, you cannot register an HST/GST account.
- If you are a small supplier who makes revenue $30,000 or less in the calendar quarter and over the last four consecutive calendar quarters, you do not need to register for HST.
- However, you can voluntarily register for HST and not wait till your income exceeds 30,000. In that case, once your income goes over $30,000, you do not need to make any changes and do business as usual.
- For companies that make more than $30,000 in a calendar quarter and over the last four consecutive quarters in the calendar year and who make taxable sales and services in Canada, including zero-rated supplies, HST registration is mandatory.
- Once you register for HST/GST, you have to start charging your clients, collecting and remitting the HST/GST on your taxable services and supplies. You should file returns regularly, based on your filing period, and stay registered for at least one year before you can cancel the registration.
I do not know if I will be making more than $30,000 per year. What should I do?
What is the HST tax rate for Ontario?
Where do I get my HST Number?
Once you register for HST with CRA, they will send you a GST34 form which will contain your number. The HST number usually looks like this: 98765 4321 RT 0001.
Need to file your corporate taxes?
Let us know if you need help with your corporate taxes, our company provide full corporate tax support, including regular corporate tax filing (T2) and Nil tax return (T2 Short)
Next steps for filing HST tax return
If you deiced to file your HST tax with Taxory, please follow these steps:
- Give us a call or schedule a meeting with our accountant to go over all details. We will explain what documents we need to prepare your HST return.
- Submit all required documents to us to review them and let you know if we need anything else.
- We will send you an authorization form to represent you when dealing with CRA. You sign that form and send it back to us.
- We will work on HST preparation for your company.
- Once the HST return is ready, we will send it to you for review and approval.
- Once approved, we will file your HST taxes and provide you with the confirmation.
- If you owe any HST taxes, you need to pay the HST balance from your bank account before the payment deadline.
- The HST return will be available in the CRA Business account about one week after the filing.
Quick and easy HST filing services from Taxory
There is a quick and easy process for business owners who prefer to delegate HST tax filing to professionals. Fill out the below form, where you can provide a summary of what you need, and we will be in touch with you within the next 48 hours.