Harmonized Sales Taxes - HST in Canada
The Bookkeeper's Reference Page For Backwork

This article on harmonized sales taxes provides backup to the high level overview ... and consists of overviews of the government announcements in the year leading up to the implementation of HST for BC and Ontario on July 1, 2010.

I also tracked the initial bulletins released pertaining to PEI's transition to HST on April 1, 2013. BC transitioned back to PST on April 1, 2013 as well.

Newfoundland will be increasing their HST rate to 15% effective January 1, 2016. Deloitte has  summarized the transitional rules here ... Newfoundland and Labrador HST rate increase and transitional rules – issues to consider.

 




A Guide to Understanding GST/HST in Canada
Click on any image below to go to the chat.

GST/HST Guide Table of Contents

Table of Contents
GST/HST Guide

Registering For GST/HST

Registering For GST/HST

What happens after you have registered for GST/HST?

After You Are Registered

Place of Supply Rules

Place of Supply Rules Flowchart
Charge the Right Rate!

HST Invoice Presentation Rules

Invoice Presentation Rules,
3 Methods of Accounting

Returning to PST in BC

Self Assessing Out of Province Purchases, PST Basics in BC




The bookkeeper's HST reference for backwork.

What You'll Find In This Chat ...

HST Quick Links

You can scroll down to find which topic on harmonized sales taxes you are looking for or click on one of the QUICK LINKS below to go right to the spot.









April 18, 2013 - updated July 4, 2016

The Bookkeeper's Reference
Harmonization of the Prince Edward Island PST with the GST


PEI announced that HST would be increasing to 15% effective October 1, 2016.

In April 2013, CRA released three more GST/HST Info Sheets ... GI-163 to 165 deal with P.E.I.'s transition to HST. The topics covered are:

1. Leases of Real Property in Prince Edward Island
2. Transition to the Harmonized Sales Tax – Information for Non-registrant Builders
3. Transition to the Harmonized Sales Tax – Builders and Recaptured Input Tax Credits.

GST/HST Info Sheets GI-144 to GI-152 and GI-160 to G!-162 all deal with PEI.

Read more PEI HST announcements ...





April 5, 2013

The Bookkeeper's Reference
Harmonization of the Prince Edward Island PST with the GST
CRA released more GST/HST Info Sheets ... GI-160 to 162 deal with P.E.I.'s transition to HST. The topics covered are goods, returns and exchanges as well as continuous supplies and budget payment arrangements. GST/HST Info Sheets GI-144 to GI-152 all deal with PEI.





March 25, 2013

The Bookkeeper's Reference
BC Transition to GST
Late last week, CRA released 3 bulletins relating to BC's transition back to GST on April 1, 2013. GST/HST Info Sheets GI-155 deals with "British Columbia: Transition to the Goods and Services Tax – Payment of the GST/HST by B.C. Government Entities" GST/HST Info Sheets GI-156 deals with "Elimination of the Harmonized Sales Tax in British Columbia: British Columbia Transition Tax on New Housing" GST/HST Info Sheets GI-157 deals with "Elimination of the Harmonized Sales Tax in British Columbia: British Columbia Transition Rebate for Builders of New Housing"





March 25, 2013

The Bookkeeper's Reference
Harmonization of the Prince Edward Island PST with the GST
Late last week, CRA released a bulletin relating to PEI's transition to HST on April 1, 2013. GST/HST Info Sheets GI-154 deals with "Prince Edward Island: Transition to the Harmonized Sales Tax – Payment of the GST/HST by Prince Edward Island Government Entities"





March 13, 2013

The Bookkeeper's Reference
Harmonization of the Prince Edward Island PST with the GST
CRA released numerous bulletins over the past few weeks relating to PEI's transition to HST on April 1, 2013. GST/HST Info Sheets GI-144 to GI-152 all deal with PEI. QuickBooks has a new release (R6) and instructions on how to setup up HST in PEI. Click here to learn if you have the latest release in QuickBooks.





December 10, 2012

The Bookkeeper's Reference
Harmonization of the Prince Edward Island PST with the GST
CRA released Notices 278 & 279 on December 10, 2012. It has questions and answers pertaining to the transitional rules for personal property and services as well as the transitional rules for housing and other real property situated in P.E.I..

It is based on information presented in the 2012 P.E.I. budget.

This information may be useful if you are a bookkeeper in P.E.I.. You can find the notices by googling "CRA Notice278" or "CRA Notice279" (no space between Notice and 278). It is located on the CRA website under forms and publications. Both notices are in a question and answer format. You may find some of the information released in July 2010 for BC and Ontario useful when implementing HST in Prince Edward Island.





December 10, 2012

The Bookkeeper's Reference
Harmonization of the Prince Edward Island PST with the GST
An excellent publication is Harmonized Sales Tax Business and Community Information Sessions Summary published by the Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs ministry in September 2012. It states there will point of sale exemptions for heating oil, children's clothing and children's footwear. There will also be a rebate program for low and modest income families.



July 24, 2009

BC Joins Ontario - HST Begins July 1, 2010
Less Paperwork for Bookkeepers?

The Campbell government announced yesterday that BC will be switching to harmonized sales taxes beginning July, 2010. It is being done so that BC can remain competitive. BC will have the lowest harmonized sales taxes in Canada at 12%. The change over will be revenue neutral to the province.

I'm not sure how I feel about this as it seems to have come out of the blue although I was expecting it to happen at some point. It will be less work for business owners and bookkeepers in the long term ... which is good ... not sure about how much work will be involved during the transition though.

I would love to hear from bookkeepers in other provinces on how the switch to HST went during the transition period ... more work?

What will the effect be to business owners and consumers?

It will be a direct cost of living increase for the end customer pertaining to SERVICES as they were PST exempt before ... but under HST they won't be. It will affect things like personal services such as hair care, dry cleaning, repair services, home renovations and painting, real estate fees, membership fees, movie and theatre tickets, funeral services, professional services such as accounting and home care, and airline fares within Canada.

Some GOODS will lose their tax exempt status, so their cost will go up. Some of the goods that will be affected are residential fuels, cable and residential phone, all food products, non-presecription medication, vitamins and dietary supplments, bicycles, school supplies (except books), magazines and newspapers, work related safety equipment, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, safety helmuts, life jackets, first aid kits, and energy conservation equipment.

Oh and of course, eating out will be higher as restaurant meals do not currently attract PST.

There will be some point of sale rebates that are different than GST. They will be gasoline and diesel fuel for motor vehicles, books, children’s-sized clothing and footwear, children’s car seats and car booster seats, diapers and feminine hygiene products. As I understand it, all other goods and services will be treated the same as GST.

The BC HST credit will offset some of the impact of the tax for people with low incomes.

It will benefit businesses as they can now claim the ITC on the PST portion which they couldn't before so they will pay less tax.

It is my understanding too that if businesses in Alberta were to sell goods to a BC resident, then they have to charge the 12% HST. However, if a BC resident were to drive to Alberta to pick them up, then they only have to pay the GST. I'm going to assume that services would be treated the same way.

October 1, 2009 addendum. The Taxtips.ca October newsletter said the BC September budget update announced the government is proposing to provide a provincially administered harmonized sales taxes exemption for residential energy use.

Go to CRA HST notices for BC and Ontario. Update May 18, 2010 - I have done a bit of research on HST and have two chats on what I have learned - How Governments Raise Tax Revenues and Compare and Contrast GST/HST to PST/RST.




September 27, 2009

The Bookkeeper's Reference
Harmonization of the Ontario RST with the GST
CRA released Notice 244 on September 15. It has questions and answers pertaining to the transitional rules for housing and other real property situated in Ontario. It is based on information presented in the 2009 Ontario budget.

This information may be useful if you are a bookkeeper in Ontario. You can find the notice by googling "CRA Notice244" (no space between Notice and 244). It is located on the CRA website under forms and publications.

An Update

Revised October 22, 2009

CRA has revised Notice 244. The title was also changed to better reflect what is being covered. It is now called Harmonized Sales Tax for Ontario –Questions and Answers on Housing Rebates and Transitional Rules for Housing and Other Real Property Situated in Ontario.

It contains a new section of questions and answers on non-residential real property. You can locate the document on the CRA website under Businesses>GST/HST>Forms and publications>GST/HST Notices.

Ontario's transition rules are similar to BC's transitional rules. See also CRA Notice 247.

An Update
July 5, 2010 You may also be interested in reading the CRA Info Sheet GI-079 Harmonized Sales Tax: Ontario New Housing Rebate ... and GI-093 Harmonized Sales Tax: Ontario New Residential Rental Property Rebate.





October 17, 2009

The Bookkeeper's Reference
Point of Sale Rebates for BC HST

BC Ministry of Finance released HST Notice#2 on Point of Sale Rebates for BC HST. The notice does not deal with the residential energy rebate.

The notice does look at the 7% POS rebate on:

  • motor fuels,
  • books,
  • children's clothing and footwear,
  • car seats and car booster seats,
  • diapers and feminine hygiene products.

CRA will administer the POS rebates.

The retailer will not have to show the POS rebate on its invoice ... which means it does not need to be reported on the HST GST return. Purchases at BC retail stores and internet purchases are eligible for the POS rebate.

Imports of designated items will not be required to pay the 7% portion of the harmonized sales taxes.

The Bookkeeper's Tip (added February 17, 2010)

The rebates are the same as Ontario with these exceptions:

  • BC has motor fuels ... BC has the carbon tax ... Ontario does not
  • BC has residential energy ... Ontario does not
  • BC does not have prepared food and beverages sold for $4 or less like Ontario,
  • BC does not have print newspapers like Ontario






October 22, 2009

The Bookkeeper's Reference
Harmonized Sales Tax for British Columbia
Transitional Rules

Yesterday, CRA released Notice 246 Harmonized Sales Tax for British Columbia - Questions and Answers on Transitional Rules for Non-Residential Real Property Situated in British Columbia.

It covers sales and leases of non-residential property, progress payments and holdbacks.

You can locate the document on the CRA website under Businesses>GST/HST>Forms and publications>GST/HST Notices.

BC's plan to implement harmonized sales taxes still has to be approved by the legislature, but plans are moving forward.

On October 14, 2009 a notice was released from the BC Ministry of Finance entitled HST Notice #1 General Transition Rules for British Columbia HST.

An Update

Revised April 6, 2010 HST Notice #1 General Transitional Rules has been updated to add the tax policies about the transitional period around July 1, 2010, when harmonized sales taxes comes into effect.

The transition will be handled in the same manner as Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. HST will apply to pre-payments beginning May 1, 2010 for services and products to be provided after June 30, 2010 with some exceptions.

The transitional rules would not apply to prepaid subscriptions and publications, round trip tickets for passenger transportation services that started before July 1, 2010, prepaid funeral services, and the PST inventory rebate for residential contracts.

The rules for transitioning new residential real property are still being worked out.

You can visit the BC Government website for additional general HST information. See also CRA Notice 247.

An Update
July 5, 2010 Back in December, 2009 CRA revised Notice 246 and changed the title to Harmonized Sales Tax for British Columbia – Questions and Answers on Housing Rebates and Transitional Rules for Housing and Other Real Property Situated in British Columbia. You may also be interested in reading the CRA Info Sheets:
  • GI-080 Harmonized Sales Tax: BC New Housing Rebate
  • GI-090 Harmonized Sales Tax: Builder Disclosure Requirements in Ontario and British Columbia
  • GI-091 Harmonized Sales Tax:Information for Landlords of New Rental Housing
  • GI-094 Harmonized Sales Tax: BC New Residential Rental Property Rebate






October 29, 2009

The Bookkeeper's Reference
HST for Ontario and BC - More Transitional Information

CRA released Notice 247 Harmonized Sales Tax for Ontario and British Columbia - Questions and Answers on General Transitional Rules for Personal Property and Services.

This notice provides general information pertaining to Ontario HST Notice #3 and BC HST Notice #1 released last week.

As discussed earlier, harmonized sales taxes generally must be charged on amounts that become due or are paid without having become due on or after May 1, 2010 for goods and services to be delivered on or after July 1, 2010.

Although it shouldn't apply to most small business owners, be aware that non-consumers will be required to self-assess amounts that come due or are prepaid between October 14, 2009 and May 2010 with the goods and services being delivered after July 1, 2010. More information will be provided on prescribed reporting forms in the coming months.





November 20, 2009

The Bookkeeper's Reference
HST Rebates and Exemptions in Ontario
More on New Housing Rebate and New Rental Housing Rebate

You can find a list of the rebates and exemptions where the proposed harmonized sales taxes will not apply on the Ontario government website.

The Bookkeeper's Tip (added February 17, 2010)

The rebates are the same as BC with these exceptions:

  • Ontario has prepared food and beverages sold for $4 or less .... BC does not,
  • Ontario has print newspapers ... BC does not
  • Ontario does not have motor fuels like BC ... BC has the carbon tax
  • Ontario does not have residential energy like BC

Yesterday, HST Notice #4 was released. It discusses Additional Information for Homebuyers and the Housing Industry under Ontario HST.

New Housing Rebate and New Rental Housing Rebate along with transitional rules were discussed in HST Notice#2.

Houses $400,000 or lower would be subject to 2% additional tax up to $400,000 and 8% over $400,000. The rebate is 75% of the provincial portion of harmonized sales taxes up to a maximum rebate of $24,000. As there will not be a phase out, housing over $400,000 is eligible for the maximum rebate.

In effect, I think it is saying that homes prices in Ontario currently have RST embedded in them. Harmonized sales taxes will not be more than the embedded RST on homes priced up to $400,000. The rebate would be 6% (75% of 8%).

Interpreting what the bulletins actually say is not my area of expertise, so please read the notices for yourself or find an expert in the housing market to explain the new rules.

An Update
July 5, 2010 You may also be interested in reading the CRA Info Sheet GI-079 Harmonized Sales Tax: Ontario New Housing Rebate ... and GI-093 Harmonized Sales Tax: Ontario New Residential Rental Property Rebate.





January 6, 2009

The Bookkeeper's Reference
New GST/HST Reporting Requirements

Bookkeepers and small business owners should be aware that the CRA released new GST/HST reporting requirements this week along with the publication Notice 249 Questions and Answers on the New Reporting Requirements for GST/HST Registrants. The proposed changes go into effect July 1, 2010 ... the same date Ontario and BC are scheduled to switch to HST.

In the past, online filing of GST was restricted by certain criteria. The criteria has now been loosened so that more registrants qualify to file their GST/HST returns electronically through GST/HST NETFILE. Electronic filing for the following registrants is proposed:

  • Anyone who recaptures the BC or Ontario provincial HST portion of certain ITCs;
  • Builders affected by the BC or Ontario transitional housing measures;
  • Registrants who have $1.5 million plus annual taxable supplies ... charities are exempt.

Failure to comply could result in penalties. More information can be found at www.cra.gc.ca/gsthst-filing.

The Notice 249 Q&A publication addresses the following areas:

  • Mandatory electronic filing;
  • Recapturing ITCs;
  • Transitional housing measures;
  • GST/HST new housing rebate (see also CRA Info Sheets GI-079 Harmonized Sales Tax: Ontario New Housing Rebate ... and GI-080 Harmonized Sales Tax: BC New Housing Rebate)






January 31, 2009

The Bookkeeper's Reference
Ontario and BC GST/HST Info Sheets Released

CRA has released GST/HST Info Sheets GI-053 through to GI-059 dealing with the Ontario and BC transitioning to harmonized sales taxes in July. The Info Sheets cover the following topics in numerical order:

  • Freight transportation services
  • Passenger transportation services
  • Transportation passes
  • Services
  • Memberships
  • Admissions
  • Intangible personal property
GST/HST Info Sheets GI-060 through to GI-065 deal with the Ontario and BC specific point of sale rebates available while GI-069 is on direct sellers and independent sales contractors. May 8, 2010 Update - GST/HST Info Sheet: GI-071 Ontario and British Columbia: Transition to the Harmonized Sales Tax – Tour Packages was released. June 22, 2010 Update - CRA has released GST/HST Info Sheets GI-081 through to GI-084 dealing with the Ontario and BC transitioning to harmonized sales taxes in July. The Info Sheets cover the following topics in numerical order:

  • Owner-built Homes, Mobile Homes and Floating Homes
  • Builders of New Housing
Some of the previously issued Info Sheets have been revised.





February 17, 2010

The Bookkeeper's Reference
Financial Services Definition Clarified by CRA

On February 11, 2010, CRA released GST/HST Notice 250 Proposed Changes to the Definition of Financial Servies.

Financial services are exempt from HST GST. This notice proposes to specify services that are not considered financial services. They are:

  • investment management services;
  • facilitatory services; and
  • credit managment services

I understand this to mean HST GST applies after December 19, 2009 ... once parliament has enacted the proposed amendments put forth by the Department of Finance.

The notice gives excellent laymen examples of what each service means.





February 17, 2010

Bookkeeper's Update
HST Transitioning - Ontario Dates

The Ontario government website has an excellent page on what businesses need to do to get ready for harmonized sales taxes.

The Small Business Transition Credit of up to $1000 is mentioned.

This is a one time credit for Ontario (not BC) HST GST registrants. Businesses with annual taxable sales of under two million will receive:

  • less than $15,000 - $300 credit
  • $15,000 to $25,000 - 2% of taxable revenue for the quarter
  • $50,000 to $500,000 - $1,000
  • greater than $500,000 - nil ... nada ... zilch

You will claim it on your first HST filing (July to September 2010).

PST vendor compensation ends March 31, 2010 with your final RST return due July 23, 2010. See notices #3 and #4 for more information ... and Tip #8 on compensation for the period April to June 2010. Update May 20, 2010 - The HST blog reported today that the Department of Finance confirmed earlier this week that the Small Business Transitional Support Payments will be considered taxable income.





February 17, 2010

The Bookkeeper's Alert
HST Self Assessment for BC and Ontario


Non-Personal Consumption of Goods and Services Non-consumers must self assess IF goods or services are delivered and ownership transferred on or after July 1, 2010 AND the amount is paid between October 14, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

Persons required to self assess will need to report the tax on either:

  • the prescribed form before November 2010 (the form has not been released yet)
  • the return for the reporting period that includes July, 2010 ... if the return is due before November 2010
  • or if you are an annual filer, on your 2010 HST report.

Who must self assess?

"Non consumers acquiring the goods and services for consumption, use or supply otherwise than exclusively in the course of their commercial activities (ie an exempt business)"... non consumers who use the simplified method of calculating their sales tax ... non consumers who are subject to the large business ITC restrictions.

Non consumers would be corporations, not for profits, registered charities, and individuals such as doctors and dentists who purchase for business use.

My understanding is ... the general rule is ... if you can't claim input tax credits, then you must self assess.

Bookkeepers take note ... self assessment date begins October 14, 2009 and ends on April 30, 2010.

So if you receive a bill in January 2010 for an annual membership, the invoice will be billed out, correctly, at the 5% GST rate. However, as a non-consumer, you will have to self assess the July to December portion for the provincial component of harmonized sales taxes.

If this invoice was prepared after April 30, harmonized sales taxes should be applied by the vendor on services provided after June 30. You will not have to self assess in this situation.

The self assessed portions do not get reported or remitted until after June 30. This means when you or your bookkeeper prepare your second quarter GST report, do not include self assessed amounts at this time.


Personal Consumption of Goods and Services

Bookkeepers, take note that as of May 1, 2010, HST applies to all billings/invoices for services and products provided on or after July 1, 2010.

If a good is delivered and ownership transferred before July 1, 2010, HST does not apply ... even if the customer does not pay until after July 1, 2010.

Exception to the general rule - If 90% or more of the services have been provided before July 1, 2010, HST does not apply ... even if the invoice is issued after July 1, 2010.

If you invoice your customer on April 30 for a service for personal consumption for the entire season (lawn mowing service was the example given) ... and some of the service happens after June 30, the entire season is taxed at 5% GST.

However, if you were to prepare this invoice on or after May 1, then you would have to charge GST on the portion up to June 30 and HST for the period July 1 forward.

So bookkeepers and business owners, here is an opportunity to save your customers some money by pre-billing before May 1, 2010.

Appendix B for goods and Appendix C for leases of CRA publication "GI-070 Ontario and British Columbia: Transition to the Harmonized Sales Tax – Goods" has excellent flow charts to follow to help you decide whether HST applies or not. Deloitte's website (www.deloitte.com) under Indirect Tax and Customs has a news article released on March 12 called "Proposed Harmonized Sales Tax Place of Supply Rules Released" which has two flow charts, one for intangible personal property and another for services which will also help you decide if HST is applicable or not.


Resource: IPBC webinar February 3, 2010 by Garth Steele, Welch LLP Chartered Accountants and CRA webcasts and updated March 2010 GST HST Info Sheet GI-070 Ontario and British Columbia: Transition to the Harmonized Sales Tax – Goods





February 17, 2010

The Bookkeeper's Alert
HST Pointers for BC and Ontario

Here are some things to be aware of as we move closer to the July 1 deadline:

Hotel Room Tax - After June 30, 2010, the HRT will be at 13% for both provinces. Currently Ontario is 10% = 5% HRT + 5% GST while BC is 13% = 8% HRT + 5% GST. BC will have an additional tax on top of HST ... Update July 5, 2010 See BC HST Notice#9 Hotel Room Tax Transitional Rules for Transitioning to BC HST for more information as well.

Insurance Premiums - There will be NO input tax credits (ITCs). BC (see update note) and Ontario are going to retain their tax on insurance ... that is currently in place.

Update May 2010 ... the BC government blog on harmonized sales taxes at hst.blog.gov.bc.ca states that insurance premiums in BC will be HST exempt.

Alcohol - After June 30, the new rate will be 8% for Ontario and 7% for BC. The rates currently are 10% (restaurant) and 12% (liquor board). To make up for the shortfall, adjustments will be made to existing alcohol fees and levies.

Private Transfer of Motor Vehicles - Ontario ... There will be NO input tax credits (ITCs) ... the 13% sales tax will be retained. BC ... has not decided yet what they will do.

Update May 2010 - BC will tax the private sales of vehicles, boats and aircraft as released on their website ... here is the link:

http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/business/consumer_taxes/Harmonized_Sales_Tax/hst.html#9 Update July 2010 - Bulletin CTR 001, Tax on Designated Property (Vehicles, Boats and Aircraft) is a new bulletin that explains how tax applies on vehicles, boats and aircraft purchased in British Columbia at a private sale or brought into British Columbia.


Resource: IPBC webinar February 3, 2010 by Garth Steele, Welch LLP Chartered Accountants.





February 20, 2010

The Bookkeeper's Reference
HST and Recapture of Input Tax Credits (RITC)

On February 19th, the BC Ministry of Finance released HST Notice#4 Temporary Recapture of Input Tax Credits (RITC) Requirement for large businesses. This will not be an issue for most small businesses and I present it only for informational purposes for bookkeepers.

The Ontario Ministry of Revenue released HST Notice#5 Temporary Recapture of Input Tax Credits (RITC) Requirement for large businesses in February 1.

The RITC rules for both provinces appear to be similar.

It is applicable if your taxable sales (including zero rated) are greater than $10 million (large business) and certain financial institutions. It does NOT apply to public service bodies or people who make their chief source of income from farming.

The recapture applies to the provincial portion of harmonized sales taxes only ... and will be reported on a separate line of the HST return.

Unless purchased for resupply, the restrictions apply to (1) road vehicles weighing less than 3,000 kg (plus fuel in Ontario), (2) energy (not energy used directly for manufacturing), (3) telecommunication services (not internet, web hosting, or toll free service), ... and (4) meals, beverages and entertainment which are currently subjected to a 50% repayment rate in the Excise Tax Act.

The rate of recapture is 100% for the first five years, then phased out over the next three years to no restrictions by July 1, 2018.

The requirements were modeled after Quebec's Sales Tax Act which was introduced in 1992 as a temporary restriction ... and is still in place. It is my understanding that the temporary recapture is being put into effect because the provincial governments can't afford to refund their portion of the ITC just yet.

The BC HST Notice can be found at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca > Harmonized Sales Tax Proposed Transition Rules > Temporary Recapture of Input Tax Credits Requirements.

The Ontario HST Notice can be found at www.rev.gov.on.ca > Forms and Publications by Client > Accountants, Lawyers, Tax Professionals > HST Information Notice 5: Temporary Recapture of Input Tax Credits Requirements ... or a summary can be found under Harmonized Sales Tax Tips - Tax Tip 1.

Deloitte's has an excellent summary of Ontario's RITC at www.deloitte.com > tax > indirect tax and customs > featured content article "Ontario HST input tax credit recapture rules".

Again, this will not be an issue for most small businesses and I present it only to keep bookkeepers informed on HST transitional rules.

Large businesses subject to RITC must self assess HST as well. Update May 17, 2010 Both BC and Ontario amended their notices regarding how the credit applies to telecommunication service and specified energy services. The simplified reconciliation process under the Estimation/Installment Approach was clarified. Update June 23, 2010 CRA published GST/HST Technical Bulletin B-104 Temporary Recapture of ITCs in Ontario and BC. It can be found on the CRA website under Forms and Publications> Publications listed by publication number> B> B-104.





March 24, 2010

Bookkeeper's Update
BC's HST Notice #6

British Columbia's Ministry of Finance released HST Notice #6 yesterday. It deals with supplies of taxable property and services to BC government entities.

CRA also published GST HST Info Sheet GI-070 Ontario and British Columbia: Transition to the Harmonized Sales Tax – Goods. Appendix B and C are worth looking at as they have decision flowcharts to help you decided whether harmonized sales taxes applies or not ... I first talked about this back in February.





March 26, 2010

Bookkeeper's Update
BC's HST Notice #7 - HST Invoicing Requirements

British Columbia's Ministry of Finance released HST Notice #7 yesterday.

It deals with the disclosure and invoicing requirements for BC's HST. As explained, it will follow the existing rules for GST/HST.

Links are provided to three CRA publications that discuss the rules:

  • GST/HST Memoranda Series 15.1
  • RC4022
  • GST/HST Memoranda Series 13.4

    Update March 30, 2010 - Bulletin HRT 007 deals with the 2% Hotel Room Tax that BC operators will still have to collect after HST begins on July 1, 2010.





    April 16, 2010

    Ontario Bookkeepers
    Ontario Insurance Premiums and RST Vendor Compensation

    The Ontario Ministry of Finance released two new HST tax tips. HST Tax Tip 3 deals with Compensation for RST Vendors while HST Tax Tip 4 covers Insurance Premiums.

    Ontario proposes to continue RST on insurance premiums which are exempt under HST. While auto insurance premiums will remain exempt from RST, the following types of insurance premiums will not:

    • group insurance
    • contributions paid into funded plans
    • benefits paid out of unfunded plans
    • insurance schemes or compensation fund payments.

    Insurance businesses will be automatically registered while businesses that provide self-insured employee benefits must contact the Ministry to register prior to June 30, 2010.

    Compensation rates are given in both notices 3 and 4 with regards to April 1 to June 30, 2010 and July 1, 2010 forward.

    Previous HST Tax Tips dealt with Invoicing Requirements and Restricted Input Tax Credits (RITC)





    May 8, 2010

    Bookkeeper's Update
    BC's HST Notice #10 - Residential Energy Program
    HST Notice #10 Residential Energy Credit and Rebate Program-Notice for Consumers was released on May 6, 2010. The energy credit will be applied directly by energy suppliers ... if you qualify as a residential consumer. The program is set up so disqualified consumers are obliged to notify the supplier. Energy suppliers will be allowed to begin legal proceedings to recover credits paid in error ... in addition to provincial penalties between 10% - 25%. Residential dwellings are defined in this notice. It gives a specific list of exclusions which includes most commercial activity buildings. If I understood the notice, mixed use properties ... like residences that have home offices do NOT qualify for the credit and YOU must inform the energy supplier that you don't qualify. They will however be able to apply to the provincial government for a rebate one to three times a year ... and claims must be submitted within 2 years of paying the harmonized sales taxes. I'm thinking that it would be fair to use the same percentage as used when calculating office offices expenses for tax purposes ... but I can't confirm this right now. More information will be released in the future. Update July 23, 2010 Information has now been released on how to claim your rebate if you have a home office. Complete form FIN 322 Consumer Energy Rebate Application. The "rules" are:
    • Submit one application a year where the amount of rebate being claimed must be at least $10 per application; OR
    • You can submit up to three applications per residence per year; however each application must be for $100 or more.
    • An application must be received within two years from the date the HST was paid.






    May 17, 2010

    Bookkeeper's Update on Ontario's HST Tips
    #7 Transition Support and #8 Accounting System Changes
    On May 14, the Ontario government released two more harmonized sales tax notices. HST Tip #7 explains eligibility for the small business transition credit and how it will be delivered. This support payment is meant to offset expenses related to preparing your accounting systems for HST. The cheques are expected to be released late fall this year. HST Tip #8 gives advice on what accounting systems changes need to be made to ensure you can handle point of sale rebates as well as the ability to track federal/provincial components of HST and restricted/non-restricted ITCs. HST Tip #8 also has information on claiming RST compensation for the period April to June 2010 which was first discussed in HST Tip #3.





    May 18, 2010

    Bookkeeper's Update
    Ontario Government Entities Are No Longer GST/HST Exempt
    Yesterday, the Ontario government released Harmonized Sales Tax Information Notice 6 informing suppliers that goods and services sold to the Ontario government are no longer exempt ... GST/HST must be charged. Cyndee Todgham Cherniak, a Canadian lawyer, recommends that suppliers to the Ontario government review their existing contracts and adjust their invoicing accordingly. She feels that suppliers will likely be audited after the implementation of HST as they will be easy pickins for the CRA. I am fairly certain this will also apply to BC ... but I don't have a reference source yet ...





    May 18, 2010

    Bookkeeper's Update
    Final PST & HRT Date Details
    With harmonized sales tax going into effect on July 1, 2010, final PST & HRT returns in B.C. must be filed by July 23, 2010 ... even if it is not your normal reporting period. Watch the mail in June ... as no other returns will be mailed out.





    June 25, 2010

    Bookkeeper's Update
    CRA's Harmonized Sales Tax Transitional Guide Released
    CRA released the spring edition of Excise and GST/HST News - No. 76 this week. Publication News76 gives a good summary of all of the important HST announcements ... and makes this guide one to bookmark and / or download to your desktop as an easy reference. A change to the GST/HST wash transaction policy is also discussed and a reminder about GST/HST return line 101 ... you must report the "total amount of supplies of goods and services, including zero-rated supplies and other revenue shown in their records".


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