GST HST Credit: Everything You Need to Know
The GST (Goods and Services Tax)/HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) credit is primarily meant for the low-earning taxpayers. When you file your tax return with an income statement, proving you are either earning modest or low incomes, you are eligible for it.
Such taxpayers can get a refund of a part of the income tax filing. They are also eligible for different other government benefits. The working model is based on the premise that people in Canada pay GST/HST regularly/on a daily basis while making various purchases as both kinds of taxes are included in the price of goods and services. GST is also paid while buying a home and land.
This forms the basis of such low-income people turning eligible for the GST/HST credits. This system is already benefitting a large number of permanent residents (and also those who have newly moved in) in Canada. This can be considered a major social welfare measure extended to the citizen by the Canadian Government.
What is the GST/HST Credit?
The GST/HST credit is a major income-related (also family income-related) benefit the taxpayers can avail themselves of four times a year. The system is very well streamlined and includes a large number of people in Canada.
This is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This credit enables a Canadian falling in the low/modest income brackets to get compensated for the GST/HST they paid. Part of GST/HST is refunded to them.
The CRA aims to provide this benefit to the maximum number of lower-income people. For this, the cash benefits are given to the taxpayers. As the children also get this benefit, it proves to be very helpful.
Certain factors get linked to this particular benefit. These are:
1. Your net family income may vary due to reassessment.
2. Your children may attain the age of 19 when you will not be eligible to get this benefit.
3. Your marital status may change following the death of your spouse, divorce or separation.
4. Your number of children may grow or reduce following death.
5. The custodial pattern of children may change as one of the spouses may stop taking custodial care of children.
How Much is the GST/HST Credit?
The quantum of GST/HST credit one receives depends upon his or her net family income, marital status and the number of children they may have. For unmarried and childless couples, the rates may vary.
The amount/quantum of GST/HST credits are the following:
1. $456 for a single person
2. $598 for a married person/live-in partner
3. $167 for each child under the age of 10 years.
This amount can be received for the payment period in June 2022. The cash benefit given is quite substantial. No wonder, the lower-income group people benefit from it in a major way. It enhances their purchasing power by supplementing the tax they have paid.
[Read more: What is IRS Reference Number 9021?]
GST/HST Credit Eligibility Requirements
By and large, this benefits a wide section of Canadian citizens. What is most noteworthy, those who have moved to Canada from other countries are also entitled to this cash benefit.
However, there is an eligibility criterion. One has to meet those points mentioned in the eligibility criteria. There are a set of statutory rules/conditions for it. Anyone falling under such rules/conditions can be eligible to get the benefits of the GST/HST credit.
These conditions are outlined below:
- One’s net family income must be below the brackets of $48,012 to $63,412 (for the 2020 tax assessment year).
- It depends on one’s marital status and the number of children.
- One must be a Canadian resident and pay income tax.
- One must have attained 19 years.
- By meeting all these qualifying criteria, one can become eligible for this benefit.
How to Claim the GST/HST Tax Credit?
Claim for GST/HST tax credit follows certain set norms/rules.
For those already residing in Canada for a specific period of time, the benefits follow an automatic route. However, for those who have moved in recently, one has to submit a prescribed form meant for that purpose.
For the new applicants, it is mandatory to mention their citizenship status, marital status and details of the number of children he or she has. These details are kept on record before processing the application.
If one is having children, it is mandatory to fill out the application to get registered with the Canada Child Benefits by filling the Form RC 66. This form includes all details and relevant information on the child, his or her siblings and parents which can be father and mother or single parent.
The quantum of payment varies depending upon these conditions.
Step by Step Process to Apply for GST/HST Credit
The application follows a step-wise format. All steps must be filled in to qualify for the benefit. The application process should follow these steps:
Step 1: Fill up the specific form for the GST/HST Credit.
Step 2: Mention details of your tax return to confirm if your income qualifies to get this benefit.
Step 3: A new resident should apply by filling the Form RC66 (if have children).
Step 4: If you are single, you should fill the Form RC151.
[Read more: What is an IRS 1099 form?]
When will I Get my GST/HST Credit?
The eligible person can get GST/HST credit through a check or direct electronic transfer four times a year. The payments follow this route:
1. January 5
2. April 5
3. July 5 and
4. October 5
The GST/HST credit is extremely useful to people both single and married. Those having children also receive benefits. The calculation of your eligibility depends upon your tax return (which is directly linked to your family’s net income and the number of children you have).
This is a major benefit that can help lower-income or moderate-income groups people living in Canada. It is also applicable to those who have moved to the country recently.
Since the cost of living is rising with the enhancement in prices of essential commodities, this comes as great succour to the people living in Canada.