Government of Canada announces new electronic filing requirements for GST/HST registrants

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The following is now available on the CRA Web site:

News release

Ottawa, Ontario, January 4, 2010 … The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture and Agri-Food), today announced proposed changes to electronic filing requirements for goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) registrants beginning July 1, 2010.

“As a result of these changes, more businesses will benefit from a modernized approach to filing a GST/HST return,” said Minister Blackburn. “Electronic filing speeds up processing times, reduces paperwork, and alleviates the overall tax compliance burden.”

Currently, only GST/HST registrants who meet the criteria set by the Minister of National Revenue have the option to use electronic filing. As a result of the proposed changes, restrictions will be removed so that all registrants, including those registrants that file a return with Revenu Québec, will be able to file electronically.

Under the new proposed measures, the following groups will be required to file their GST/HST returns electronically:

* GST/HST registrants with greater than $1.5 million in annual taxable supplies (except for charities); or
* all registrants required to recapture input tax credits for the provincial portion of the HST on certain inputs in Ontario or British Columbia; or
* builders affected by the transitional housing measures announced by Ontario or British Columbia.

Regulations specifying the persons and classes of persons who will be required to file an electronic return will be proposed at the earliest opportunity.

In general, charities and most GST/HST registrants with annual taxable supplies of $1.5 million or less will not be affected by these changes, although the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) encourages all GST/HST registrants, regardless of their filing frequency and reporting requirements, to use electronic services.

To learn more about electronic filing options currently available to GST/HST registrants, go to For more information on other electronic services available in the CRA’s My Business Account, including viewing account balances and transfer payment options, go to

My Payment is a new payment option that allows individuals and businesses to make payments online, using the CRA’s Web site, from an account at a participating Canadian financial institution. For more information on this self-service option, go to

The CRA will also provide additional information in the coming months that will assist businesses in changing their accounting and reporting systems in order to be ready for the July 1, 2010, implementation date for the HST in Ontario and British Columbia. For more information, go to

Source: CRA Newsroom

Related Backgrounder Document

New Reporting Requirements for GST/HST Registrants – Summary

Type of Business Filing Options

Businesses that:
a) are required to recapture ITCs for the provincial portion of the HST on certain inputs in Ontario or British Columbia; or
b) are builders who sell grandparented housing where the purchaser is not entitled to claim a GST/HST new housing rebate or new residential rental property rebate; or
c) are builders who sell housing subject to the HST where the builder purchased that housing on a grandparented basis; or
d) are builders who are required to remit the transitional tax adjustment on housing; or
e) are builders who are reporting provincial transitional new housing rebates.     


Unless required to file using GST/HST NETFILE, builders with greater than $1.5 million in annual taxable supplies that pay or credit a GST/HST new housing rebate amount to the purchaser and claim that amount as a deduction from their GST/HST liability. 


Businesses that are not required to file using GST/HST NETFILE or GST/HST TELEFILE and with annual taxable supplies exceeding $1.5 million, excluding charities.


All other businesses.

Paper Return


Peter McMeekin says:

I find all this information very confusing. I have not received the forms to file my GST for this quarter, and can’t find information that explains how to file without the proper form . I don’t use E-file, so am at a lose as to what to do before I am in default.

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