Did you know that if you live in Canada you may be eligible to receive tax-free, quarterly payments from the government? Known as the “GST Rebate”, these payments are designed to provide support to lower income families throughout the year. Here’s what you need to know about the GST Rebate in Canada:
What is the GST in Canada?
GST, short for “Goods and Services Tax”, is a tax that is charged on the majority of goods and services in Canada. Sometimes you will hear GST referred to as HST. This is because, in some provinces, GST has been combined with the “Provincial sales tax” to create a “Harmonized Sales Tax”
The current Federal GST in Canada stands at 5%. When Harmonized in certain provinces, HST rates can range anywhere from 5% to 15%. (source: https://www.avalara.com/)
These are the taxes that you see on the end of your receipt when you purchase groceries, items, or services.
Let’s use a more concrete example of how GST/HST works. In Alberta, you only pay GST (It is not harmonized). GST in Alberta is 5%. So if you went to a grocery store and bought a bag of chips for $1, you would pay $1.05 at checkout to include the GST.
In Ontario you pay 13% HST (8% Provincial Sales Tax + 5% GST). If you bought a $1.00 bag of chips here, you would pay $1.13 at checkout to account for HST.
What is the GST Rebate in Canada?
In Canada, the GST Rebate is a sum of money that is paid quarterly to low income or moderate income singles or families. It is designed to offset the amount of GST or HST that they pay throughout the year.
The GST Rebate is administered to families and individuals by the Canada Revenue Agency. In order to be eligible for the rebate, you must file your income tax return, and must meet certain criteria.
Am I eligible for the GST Rebate?
- Are you 19 years of age or older?
- Do you have (or have you had) a spouse or common law partner?
- Are you a parent who lives with your child?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, are a Canadian resident, and file your income taxes during tax season, you may be eligible to receive the Canadian GST Rebate.
To learn more about GST Eligibility and requirements, visit https://www.canada.ca/
How much is the GST Rebate?
The amount that you receive on your GST rebate will depend on numerous factors including:
- Your family net income
- The number of children under 19 years old within your household
- Your marital status
- Whether or not you share custody of a child
A good financial advisor will be able to help you determine your eligibility for GST, and will be able to help you calculate exactly how much you will receive quarterly throughout the year.
Always be sure to let your financial advisor know of any changes to your marital status, your income, or your number of dependents under 19, as each of these things can affect your eligibility for a GST rebate.