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GST/HST

Important information about the Good and Service Tax (or GST) and Harmonized Sales Tax (or HST) tax credit and payments.

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The GST/HST credit is a non-taxable amount paid four times a year to individuals and families with low and modest incomes to help offset the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) that they pay.

Eligibility criteria

You are eligible for this credit if you are a resident of Canada for income tax purposes at the beginning of the month in which the CRA makes a payment.

In the month before the CRA makes a quarterly payment, you must be at least 19 years old. If you are under 19 years old, you must meet at least one of the following conditions during the same period:

    • You have (or had) a spouse or common-law partner.
    • You are (or were) a parent and live (or lived) with your child.

Generally, you are not eligible for the GST/HST credit if at the beginning of the month in which the CRA makes a quarterly payment, any of the following apply:

    • You are not a resident of Canada for income tax purposes.
    • You do not have to pay tax in Canada because you are an officer or servant of another country (such as a diplomat) or a family member or employee of such a person.
    • You are confined to a prison or similar institution for a period of at least 90 consecutive days.
    • The recipient is deceased

How to get the GST/HST credit

To get the GST/HST credit, including any related provincial and territorial credits, you have to file a tax return, even if you have not received income in the year.

If you are a newcomer to Canada and you want to get the GST/HST credit, there are two ways to proceed:

If you have children who are under 19 years of age

You can get the credit for each of your children if all of the following apply at the beginning of the month in which the CRA makes a payment. The child:

    • is your child, or is dependent on you or your spouse or common-law partner for support
    • is under 19 years of age
    • has never had a spouse or common-law partner
    • has never been a parent of a child they lived with
    • lives with you

Each eligible parent in a shared custody situation may get half of the GST/HST credit for that child. This also applies to any related provincial and territorial credit.

You cannot get the credit for a child if, at the beginning of the month in which the CRA makes a payment, the child is not living with you because they are maintained by an agency or are in foster care. Also, you cannot get the credit for a foster child in your care. However, if you live with a child that you care for under a kinship or close relationship program, you can get the credit for that child.

Your GST/HST credit will automatically be recalculated to exclude a child who turned 19 years of age during the year. The adjustment is effective in the quarterly payment following the child's 19th birthday.

How your GST/HST credit is calculated

The base year is the year of the tax return from which information is taken to calculate the GST/HST credit amount for the payment period.

The payment period is the 12‑month period during which the GST/HST credits are paid. The payment period runs from July 1 of the year following the base year to June 30 of the next year.

If you were overpaid

If a recalculation shows you have been overpaid for the GST/HST credit, the CRA will send you a notice to inform you of the amount due. For more information on how to make a payment, go to Payments to the CRA.

The CRA will keep all future GST/HST credit payments or tax refunds until the balance is repaid. The CRA will also apply your GST/HST credit to amounts owing for tax balances or amounts owing to other federal, provincial, or territorial government programs.