HST Charged But No Business Number

I was charged HST by a small supplier (less than $30,000 annually). There was no HST number on the invoice. When questioned, the person said he had not registered for HST.

Am I required to pay HST to this supplier? What if they register after the transaction date, am I required to pay retroactively?


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If the business was registered for GST, they are automatically registered for HST.

If the supplier is not registered for GST, then no, you are not required to pay ... and good catch!

In general, GST/HST cannot be retroactively charged. Claims start from the first date of registration. However, if it was mandatory for the supplier to register and they didn't, CRA will calculate the amount the supplier owes. As far as I know, the vendor cannot go back and retroactively charge the assessed amount to its customers ... but I'm not a tax lawyer.

All bookkeepers should implement the following procedure with new suppliers:

Assign someone the task of checking if the GST/HST registration number is valid ... and that the number matches the vendor name you have been given.

This internal control procedure is discussed in my chat on Small Business Accounting Decisions - What About Internal Controls?.

I would also report this supplier to CRA. GST/HST are collected in trust for the government. If you are not registered, you are not a trustee and you are not authorized to collect GST/HST.

P.S. I would like to remind you there is a difference between information and advice. The general information provided in this post or on my site should not be construed as advice. You should not act or rely on this information without engaging professional advice specific to your situation prior to using this site content for any reason whatsoever.

Comments for HST Charged But No Business Number

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Nov 14, 2013
GST Adjustment in QuickBooks
by: Anonymous

I am using QuickBooks to record all of my expenses but recently I noticed I mistakenly entered a GST amount on all of my purchases and I'm not a GST registrant. This means I cannot claim ITCs on company purchases.

I want to know the right way of adjusting my full GST amount in QuickBooks in such a way that it won't cause any further issues when filing my 2013 tax.

Nov 14, 2013
Expensing GST in QuickBooks
by: Lake

If you check your transaction journal on an expense entry, does it show the GST was coded to GST/HST Payable? … Or does the transaction journal show that the GST is being expensed; i.e. the GST amount is being added to the purchase amount and expensed?

You can find / see your transaction journal for an entry by selecting Ctrl + Y when you are in the entry.

Mar 25, 2014
by: Anonymous

What if I do a small monthly job for a company but I have never charged them GST/HST. Now they are asking me for a HST#. Should they be asking me if I don't charge tax?

Mar 30, 2014
Are you over the threshold?
by: Lake

As long as you are not over the $30,000 threshold which requires GST/HST registration, you are correct in not charging sales tax. Just inform company that you are not a registrant and their invoices did not include sales tax.

Mar 30, 2014
by: Anonymous

Thank you! Nope not over $30,000 thanks for your help!

Oct 04, 2014
HST charged but no business number
by: Wess in Ontario

My friend deregistered HST account in 2009. In 2013 she charged HST on her services since she forgot about the cancellation. What should she do with the money: return, include in her income or ... ?

Oct 04, 2014
HST Collected By Unregistered Vendor
by: Lake

I believe what she needs to do now is write a letter to CRA explaining what she has done. Attach a cheque for the amount collected.

Feb 03, 2017
Need help with GST trouble
by: Anonymous

I have worked with an employer half the year before I got my GST number. When I received my GST number, he wanted me to write invoices for the first part of the year ... but I didn't have a GST number at that time. Is it legal to write an invoice before I had my GST number?. This is my first year as a sub-contract.

Jun 11, 2017
HST number
by: Anonymous

Is it 'shady'to be charged HST on services exceeding 30,000.00, pay said HST and yet the invoice has no HST registration number provided.

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I personally like to see the GST/HST registration number on every receipt / bill but here are CRA's requirements: https://www.bookkeeping-essentials.com/audit-trail.html#legit

You will see the registration number is not required until the sale is $30 +.

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