Self-Assessment refers to the process of calculating and filing your GST/HST returns on your own. Although it may sound much easier than it is, you can always consider taking professional assistance in this regard. There are provincial rules. Then there are different territorial rules that apply when you are a non-registrant or a non-resident. Read on to find out more details on GST/HST self-assessment rules.
Before you actually complete any sales in your business, the need to calculate HST/GST on your own is called self-assessment. GST/HST self-assessment includes the filing of HST returns as well. When it comes to GST/HST self-assessment rules, they can get quite complex and can cause some serious problems with the CRA. Therefore, it is recommended to always go for a professional accounting firm or a bookkeeper before you proceed with self-assessments.
Meanwhile, we have collected some of the most basic GST/HST self-assessment rules to understand your tax responsibilities better.
No Billing Supplier
Certain non-commercial activities initiate the need for a self-assessment of GST/HST. This category includes the consumers who are usually not billed by the vendor or the supplier of the goods or services.
People who are not yet registered for GST/HST returns are also advised to follow self-assessment for their GST/HST filings.
Territorial and Provincial differences
If you purchase any goods in a province or territory where there is no HST and then bring the goods into a province or territory where there is HST, you will be required to self-assess. You will need to self-assess at the applicable rates for the province or territory you enter. Another condition is when a non-registrant purchases goods in a province with a lower HST rate and then bring the goods into a province with high HST rates. Even if you import the goods, you will still need to consider self-assessment for your HST submissions.
Non-Resident Goods Suppliers
If you are not registered for GST/HST and make a purchase from a non-resident supplier, and all of this business happens in an HST participating province, then you will be required to self-assess for your HST returns.
Importation of Vehicles
If a person chooses to import a vehicle into an HST participating province, they will be required to self-assess their HST returns. However, there are some special HST rules for the importation of vehicles, boats, and other goods.
What to consider before calculating your Self-Assessment HST returns?
The two crucial things that you need to consider before you move towards any calculations are the type of supply and the place of supply of goods or services. If you are having any trouble with determining these two elements, then you need a professional tax accountant who can do this job for you in no time. Once these things are sorted out, you can make the necessary self-assessment calculation using the GST/HST calculator provided by the CRA.
There are many more self-assessment rules that may be applied to you when you make any sale or purchase as either a non-registrant or a non-resident. These rules may vary from province to province and territory to territory. It is, therefore, best to consider professional help in this regard. When you use professional services for self-assessment for GST/HST, you take away the risk of any complications with CRA.
Sohail Afzal, CPA, CMA, MBA
Sohail Afzal, (CPA, CMA, MBA) is the founder & CEO of GTA Accounting Professional Corporation. He is a highly experienced Chartered Professional Accountant and businessman himself and understands the challenges that many businesses face when it comes to cash flow management. As an experienced business consultant & tax advisor, he is helping companies grow by providing the technical, financial, and contractual information necessary for strategic decision-making.