GST/HST Credit: A Complete Guide

We Canadians are a lucky bunch. We have access to a variety of government resources and benefits. Moreover, Canada’s tax system is designed to redistribute wealth across the nation. One of the most common tax benefits available? The GST/HST tax credit.

Administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), this benefit supports low to moderate-income families. In this article, we look at how to enroll, payment amounts, and corresponding provincial/territorial programs.

GST/HST Credit: A Complete Guide

What is the GST/HST credit?

As mentioned above, the GST/HST credit is a federal tax benefit. It’s available to individuals and families with low to modest incomes. The purpose of the GST/HST tax credit is to help taxpayers offset the sales tax they pay. The benefit is paid quarterly.

Related Reading: Guide To Tax Credits — How To Get A Bigger Tax Refund

What is the difference between GST and HST?

Both GST and HST are sales taxes. This means it’s charged on the sale of most goods and services sold in Canada. GST stands for ‘goods sales tax,’ while HST stands for ‘harmonized sales tax.’ In many provinces and territories, GST has been ‘harmonized’ with the provincial or territorial sales tax which is known as HST. In other words, GST is the provincial level sales tax whereas HST is the federal level sales tax.

How is the GST/HST credit calculated?

As mentioned, the credit is calculated and paid to beneficiaries automatically. Calculation of the CRA GST/HST tax credit is based on the following factors:

  • Your household net income
    • If you’re single, this is the amount reported on line 23600 of your income tax return
    • If you have a common-law partner or spouse, the combined amounts on line 23600 for each person are calculated to get the family net income
  • The number of children under 19 years of age that you have registered for the Canada Child Benefit and the GST/HST credit

Here are the maximum amounts you could receive for payment periods between July 2023 and June 2024:

  • Single individuals: $496
  • Married or common-law partners: $650
  • $171 for each child below the age of 19

Related Reading: What is a Good Credit Score in Canada?

Can the credit be recalculated?

GST/HST credit payments are predetermined by the CRA. For this reason, the calculation is straightforward and publicly posted online. Your payment may change if the following factors arise:

  • You or your spouse/common-law partner’s tax return was reassessed resulting in a different net income on line 23600
  • Your eligible child turns 19
  • Your marital status changes
  • The number of eligible children in your care changes
  • A recipient passes away
  • You stop or start sharing custody of a child

If you suspect you received the incorrect amount for your GST/HST credit, be sure to consult the CRA resources first. Consequently, most amounts are predetermined by the CRA and cannot be recalculated.

Check out the GST/HST payment chart and/or use the child and family benefits calculator. If you did receive the incorrect amount, reach out to the CRA to have the error fixed.

Related Reading: Average Cost of Living in Canada

Who is eligible for the GST/HST credit?

To receive your payment, you must meet the following GST/HST credit eligibility:

  • Be a Canadian resident for income tax purposes
  • Are 19 years of age or older
  • You have (or had) a common-law partner or spouse
  • You are (or were) a parent and live (or lived) with your child (parents with shared custody of children may be eligible for half of the GST/HST credit for those children)

Related Reading: Financial Conversations to Have Before Marriage

What is the maximum income for the GST/HST credit?

The GST/HST credit is designed for low to moderate-income families. As a result, there is a maximum income for eligibility. For single individuals, the maximum is $52,255 before tax for the 2023/2024 year. And for married or common-law couples with up to four children, the maximum combined net income is $69,015 before tax. Let’s take a closer look below:

Structure of familyMaximum Income
Single person$52,255
Single parent with one child$58,755
Single parent with two children$62,175
Single parent with three children$65,595
Single parent with four children$69,015
Married/common-law couple with no children$55,335
Married/common-law couple with one child$58,755
Married/common-law couple with two children$62,175
Married/common-law couple with three children$65,595
Married/common-law couple with four children$69,015

Related Reading: How To File Self-Employed Taxes In Canada

GST/HST Credit: Provincial and Territorial Programs

Depending on where you live, there may be an additional GST/HST credit at the provincial or territorial level. In most cases, these benefit payments are combined with the federal credit. Like this federal benefit, enrollment into the program is automatic, so long as you are up to date on your tax returns.

Provincial/territorial programEligibilityIncome thresholdsPayments
BC Climate Action Tax Credit– Resident of British Columbia
– 19+
– Have (or had) a spouse or common-law partner
– Are a parent who cares/lives with your child
– $39,115 for individuals
– $50,170 for families
– $447 for yourself
– $223.50 each for you and your spouse/common-law partner or first child
– $111.50 each for all other children
New Brunswick Harmonized Sales Tax Credit– Resident of New Brunswick
– 19+
– Have (or had) a spouse or common-law partner
– Are a parent
– Less than $35,000 in household income, receive full credit
– Over $35,000 in household income, credit is reduced by 2%
– $300 per individual
– $300 for a spouse or common-law partner
– $100 per child under 19 years of age (or $300 for the first child in a single-parent family)
Newfoundland and Labrador Income Supplement– Resident of Newfoundland and Labrador
– 19+
– Have (or had) a spouse or common-law partner
– Are a parent
N/A– $520 for single individuals
– $589 for spouse and common-law couples
– $231 per child under 19 years of age
Newfoundland and Labrador Seniors’ Benefit– Resident of Newfoundland and Labrador
– Single senior (age 65+ in the tax year)
– Married or common-law couple that has at least one senior whose adjusted family net income is $29,402 or less
– $29,402 household income or less, receive the full benefit
– Between $29,402 and $41,787 net income, partial benefit
– $1,516 tax-free annual payment
Newfoundland and Labrador Disability Amount– Eligible for the federal GST/HST credit and the NLIS
– Eligible for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC)
N/A– $231 if you are eligible for the DTC
– $231 if your spouse or common-law partner is eligible for the DTC
Northwest Territories Cost of Living OffsetResident of NWT for at least 3 monthsIncreases as the carbon tax rate increases– $441 to $558 per adult (aged 18 years or older, based on Zones and fuel use)
– $493 to $610 per child (aged under 18 years, based on Zones and fuel use)
Nova Scotia Affordable Living Tax CreditResident of Nova Scotia– Household income of $30,000 or less
– Reduced by 5% for incomes over $30,000

– $255 per individual or couple
– $60 per child
Ontario Sales Tax CreditResident of Ontario– Single with no children: $26,535
– Single parent or married/common-law partners: $33,169
– If you exceed these maximum incomes, the benefit is reduced by 4%
– $345 for each adult (aged 19 years or older)
– $345 for each child (under 19 years of age)
Prince Edward Island Sales Tax CreditResident of Prince Edward Island– $30,000 annual income or less
– Supplement of 0.5% of adjusted family net income over $30,000, to a maximum of $55
– Total benefit is reduced by 2% if income exceeds $50,000
– $110 per individual
– $55 for a spouse, common-law partner or eligible dependent
Saskatchewan Low-Income Tax CreditResident of Saskatchewan– $35,902 annual income or less
– Benefit is reduced by 2.75% if income exceeds $35,902
– $358 to $380 per adult
– $141 to $150 per child (maximum $300 per family)
– Maximum annual benefit is $1,060
Yukon Government Carbon Price Rebate – IndividualsResident of YukonN/A– $320 annual rebate
– 10% increase in rebate for individuals living outside of Whitehorse

Related Reading: Tax Credit vs Tax Deduction in Canada

How to apply for the GST/HST credit

For both the federal and provincial/territorial levels, you do not need to apply separately for the GST/HST credit. The CRA automatically enrolls you in the program when they assess your annual personal tax return. As long as your reported net income meets the requirements for the GST/HST credit, you will receive the payment.

If you’re eligible but not receiving the payments, it’s likely because you aren’t up to date on your tax returns. In short, file your tax returns within the appropriate tax season, and you should receive your payments. To speed up the process, register for direct deposit with the CRA.

Related Reading: What is the average annual income in Canada?

When are GST/HST credit payments made?

The combined federal and provincial/territorial payments arrive quarterly, typically in the months January, April, July and October. If you don’t receive your payment on this date, the CRA advises you to wait 10 business days before reaching out about a missed payment. In the year you turn 19, your first payment will occur on the payment date that comes directly after your birthday.

GST/HST credit dates for 2024

For 2024, the GST/HST payment dates are as follows:

  • January 5, 2024
  • April 5, 2024
  • July 5, 2024
  • October 5, 2024

How do I check my GST/HST credit?

You can check the details of your benefit by logging into CRA MyAccount or using the MyBenefits CRA mobile app.

To begin with, if you do not have an account yet, register to access your information. At the same time, you can also enroll for direct deposit using these platforms. By doing so, you’ll receive your payment faster.

Without an online CRA account, you will likely receive correspondence by physical mail. This should include a cheque and a breakdown of the benefit. Moreover, you can also call the CRA to inquire about your benefits at 1-800-387-1193.

Why am I not getting the GST/HST credit?

If you aren’t receiving the GST/HST credit, it’s likely because you are not up to date on your personal tax returns. The Canada Revenue Agency uses information from your annual tax return to determine eligibility and calculate the amount of the benefit. Make sure you file your tax return every year to ensure you receive the GST/HST credit.

If you’re up to date on your taxes and still not receiving the benefit, it’s probably because you’re not eligible. Remember, this benefit is designed for low to moderate income families in Canada. Revisit the eligibility criteria above to verify if you qualify or not.

Finally, if you’re still not receiving the benefit, but are qualified and up to date on taxes, contact the Canada Revenue Agency. It’s possible your payment was misallocated or lost in the mail, if paid by cheque. Be sure to register for direct deposit while you’re at it to ensure there’s no future delays or confusion with your payment.

Related Reading: Marginal Tax vs Average Tax — Understanding Canadian Tax Brackets


The GST/HST tax credit helps low to moderate-income families by reimbursing them for sales taxes they pay. If you’re eligible, be sure to file your personal taxes every year — automatically enrolling you for the benefit.

Finally, feel free to reach out to the CRA at 1-800-387-1193 if you have any questions about the GST/HST credit.

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