Goods and Service Tax | Toronto Tax Lawyer

Defining Goods and Service Tax (GST)

As a business owner in Canada, you must be aware of your obligations related to the GST, also known as the Good and Services Tax. The GST is a consumption sales tax meaning that the person who is buying the product has to pay the tax rather than the seller paying it. The party buying a service or good subjected to this tax must therefore, pay in on each affected transaction.

This GST tax is also a form of percentage consumption tax, meaning that the total amount of tax charged depends on the cost of the service or good in question prior to taxes. Although the consumer has to pay the GST tax, that money must then be remitted to the government by the seller. The GST is applied to many services and goods changing hands between businesses, organizations, and individuals, although some items are exempted.


Since it is the responsibility of the seller in order to account for this sales tax, knowing how much to collect and how it must be remitted are crucial. The insight of an attorney can make a big difference in managing this information. An attorney can also be helpful if there are audits or objections surrounding the GST, since an attorney can review your records and ensure that you have everything in order in the event that you need to defend yourself to the CRA. A lawyer’s knowledge about this process can make things much easier for you and give you confidence that you’re prepared if a problem does emerge.

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There is only one type of GST however some provinces charge their own separate provincial sales tax and other provinces have added onto the GST in what is called harmonized sales tax or HST. If you are carrying on business in different provinces you will have different amounts to charge depending on where you do business and how you do business.

Any vendor (called a supplier for GST purposes) is required to charge GST/HST and to provide their GST registration number to their customers. They then remit the net GST, after deducting GST paid out, called input tax credits, to CRA on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis depending on their sales volume.