GST/HST credit

The GST/HST credit is paid in quarterly instalments—in January, April, July and October. An individual’s GST /HST credit entitlement for the calendar quarter will be based on the individual’s family circumstances at the end of the previous calendar quarter.

Subject to income restrictions, you’re eligible to claim the credit. But you must, at the end of the year, be a resident of Canada and either 19 years of age or over, married or a parent. No credit can be claimed for a person who died during the year.

What’s it worth?

For payments from July 2016 to June 2017, the basic GST/ HST credit for an individual is $276. For families, the credit is $276 for you and $276 for your spouse or common-law partner (or other parent of your child). An eligible child will be credited with $145. There’s also a GST/HST supplement credit of up to $145 for certain low-income single persons and single parents. If you live with your spouse or common-law partner (or other parent of your child), only one of you may claim the credit for the family unit, and it doesn’t matter which of you claims the credit.

However, the total credit you may claim is reduced by 5% of your combined adjusted net incomes for 2015 in excess of a specified threshold, which is currently $35,926 (this amount is adjusted annually for inflation). Therefore, a married couple with two eligible children qualify for the full credit of $830 if their combined family income is $35,926 or less. Their entitlement decreases to zero once family income exceeds $52,765.

Eligibility for the credit

GST/HST payments can be impacted due to changes in family circumstances during the year, such as the birth of a child. As a result,

  • following the birth of a child, a family will receive an additional amount for that child with the next quarterly payment;
  • the credit will be available to an individual in the quarter immediately following the individual’s 19th birthday;
  • individuals who get married, or become separated or widowed, will have their credits adjusted in the quarter following their change in marital status; and
  • new or returning residents to Canada will be eligible for the credit in the quarter following their entry or return into Canada.

To claim any added benefits, you should inform the CRA of relevant changes in your status. Call 1-800-959-1953.

Tax tip: To receive the GST /HST credit, you should file an income tax return—even if you have no income to report. After you file your tax return, the CRA determines whether you qualify for the credit and, if so, will let you know how much you’ll receive.