*Whenever you see HST, we mean GST/HST

In 1991, GST was a new, regressive and ridiculously expensive tax. Little did we know that the original 7% GST would jump to 13% HST in 2010. Paying HST on everything from cab fare to false teeth is bad enough, worse is that freelancers build debt every time we earn a dime.

There are ways of making the HST process fairly painless both in the paying and in the reporting. Your tax preparer will be happy to suggest ways to minimize the administration, the debt and the frustration.

Last year at Artbooks we started charging an extra $25 on tax returns for anyone with an HST number. This $25 covers the work involved in assisting with HST, dealing with the added complication on the tax return, and keeping a record of the HST return.

If you’re on the Long (Regular) Method of HST and you haven’t taken the HST out of your expenses, we will charge an additional $25 for what we refer to as ‘HST extraction’. We will do it for you, we will make it as painless as possible, but we will charge for the time and effort involved. The $25 charge increases to $75 for years like 2006 and 2010, where the GST/HST rate changes in the middle of the year.

If you need to talk about HST in your appointment, make sure to mention this when booking the appointment, and to inform your tax preparer at the beginning of the appointment.

When you come to your appointment, please bring:

  • Your questions about registering for HST in this year
  • Your HST number
  • Please call the CRA at 1-800-959-5525 to confirm which method you’re on if you’re not sure.
  • Your filing status: annually or quarterly (& how many quarters filed this year so far) and bring copies of any
  • HST reports filed so far this year
  • If you are on the Long Method, whether you have factored HST out of your expense totals

For HST non-registrants

If you are close to the thirty-mark, consider the concept of registering now. CRA is now scanning tax returns to see who bills more than $30,000 and then cross referencing them with HST registrants to make sure that everyone who should be registered is in fact out there doing their bit to collect HST taxes from the population at large. So be careful! Often when our income shoots up for the first time we are too busy to initiate anything so anxiety provoking as a new HST status. You are allowed to register for HST even if you dont make $30,000. Talk to your tax preparer about whether it might be advantageous to register especially now that its 13%.

DownloadMore information on GST/HST:
GST/HST Nuts & Bolts (PDF)
GST/HST Methods (PDF)