When is a business required to register for GST and QST?

If you operate a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation that has gross sales over $30,000 in a fiscal year, you are required to register for and collect GST and QST. If your sales are less than $30,000, registration is optional.

Sole proprietors operating more than one business must combine the income from all businesses when determining if they need to register.

If you are a public service body, such as a charity, you do not have to register for the GST/QST until your total revenues exceed $50,000.

If your income exceeds the $30,000 threshold for any four consecutive quarters, or in any quarter, you must register. You have 29 days from the time that your revenues reach $30,000 to register with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) so that you can charge GST/QST.

Pros: Often businesses that are not yet required to register for the GST/QST do so anyway. One benefit of registering early is that you can claim back the GST/QST you paid for start-up purchases. For some businesses charging the GST/QST adds credibility, as customers won't know that the company is earning less than $30,000 a year.

Cons: Being registered means that you have extra paperwork to do. And of course, you also have to charge and remit the tax.

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