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Published December 20, 2022

What is the GST/HST Credit?

The GST/HST credit is a series of payments available to low- and modest-income Canadians. You're automatically considered for the GST/HST credit when you file your taxes.

Unless you’re exclusively shopping from a short list of exempted products, Canada’s goods and services tax, or GST, will show up in most of your purchases.

GST is added onto the cost of many products and services, as well as real estate transactions and even products downloaded from the internet. In some provinces, the GST is blended with provincial sales tax and referred to as the harmonized sales tax, or HST.

Sales tax can significantly increase everyday costs, which is why the federal government offers the GST/HST credit to some Canadians and their families.

» MORE: What are tax credits? 

How the GST/HST credit works

The GST/HST credit is issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to families with low or modest incomes as tax-free, quarterly payments that offset the amount of GST or HST they pay throughout the year.

If eligible, these same families may also receive other provincial and territorial credits as part of their GST/HST payments.

» MORE: Understanding Canada’s tax brackets

How much is the GST/HST credit?

The size of your GST/HST credit depends on your net family income, your marital status and whether you have children.

For the 2021 tax year (which pays out from July 2022 to June 2023), the maximums are:

  • $467 if you are single.
  • $612 if you are married or have a common-law partner.
  • $161 for each child under the age of 19.

Nerd tip: The CRA typically sends GST/HST tax credit payments on the 5th day of July, October, January, and April. Based on an individual’s family situation as of October 2022, some may receive a one-time additional GST credit payment between November 4, 2022 and January 5, 2023.

GST/HST credit eligibility requirements

To qualify for the GST/HST credit, your adjusted net family income must be below a certain threshold, which for the 2021 tax year ranges from $49,166 to $64,946, depending on your marital status and how many children you have.

Also, you must be considered a Canadian resident for income tax purposes during the month before, as well as at the beginning of the month when the CRA makes the GST/HST credit payment.

Finally, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • You are at least 19 years old.
  • You have (or had) a spouse/common-law partner.
  • You are (or were) a parent and live (or lived) with your child.

How to claim the GST/HST credit

If you are a Canadian resident and you file an annual tax return (even if you don’t have any income to report) you will be automatically considered for the GST/HST credit. 

If you are a new resident to Canada, you will have to fill out a form and submit it to a local tax centre. The specific form required depends on whether you have children or not.

You can also claim your child’s GST/HST credit. If you have applied for and receive the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) then you are likely already receiving their part of the GST/HST credit.

However, if you have not applied for the CCB, or have since welcomed another child into your home, you may need to register the child for the GST/HST tax credit.

You can do this via CRA’s My Account, by selecting “apply for child benefits.” You will need to confirm your contact information, citizenship, and marital status and fill out some information about your child including name, gender, as well as date and place of birth.

Frequently asked questions about the GST/HST credit

Who is eligible for the GST/HST credit?

The GST/HST credit is designed to provide financial assistance to Canadian residents (individuals and families) who earn low or modest incomes. Marital status and number of children may also be taken into account.

How do I apply for the GST/HST credit?

Canadian residents who file a tax return are automatically considered for the GST/HST credit.

About the Author

Hannah Logan

Hannah Logan is a writer and blogger who specializes in personal finance and travel. You can follow her personal travel blog or find her on Instagram @hannahlogan21.

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