GST and HST Electronic Filing Requirements

The government announced proposed changes to electronic filing requirements for GST/HST registrants starting July 1, 2010. Currently, only GST/HST registrants who meet specific criteria have the option to use electronic filing. As a result of the proposed changes, restrictions will be removed so that all registrants will be able to file electronically.

In addition, the following groups will be required to file their GST/HST returns electronically:

  • GST/HST registrants with greater than $1.5 million in annual taxable supplies (except for charities) (the $1.5 million threshold will be calculated by reference to the registrant and all associated persons for the previous fiscal period)
  • In British Columbia, all registrants required to recapture input tax credits for the provincial part of the HST on certain inputs (July 1, 2010 to March 31, 2013)
  • Ontario and Prince Edward Island registrants must use GST/HST NETFILE, EDI, (if their financial institution offers electronic filing of Schedule B)
  • Certain builders affected by the transitional housing measures announced by Ontario and BC

CRA offers several electronic filing options for GST/HST registrants.

  • GST/HST NETFILE - a free internet-based filing service
  • GST/HST TELEFILE - using a touch-tone telephone and toll-free number
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) - computer-to-computer exchange of information in a standard format
  • GST/HST Internet File Transfer (GIFT) - a new option that allows eligible registrants to use third-party CRA certified accounting software

More information about electronic filing options currently available to GST/HST registrants can be obtained at CRA's website:

The electronic filing options that are available to GST/HST registrants will depend on their reporting circumstances (see the table below).

Type of Business Filing Options

Businesses that are:

a) required to recapture ITCs for the provincial portion of HST in ON & BC; 

b) builders who sell grandparented housing where the purchaser is not entitled to claim a GST/HST new housing rebate or new residential rental property rebate; 

c) builders who sell housing subject to the HST where the builder purchased that housing on a grand parented basis; or
d) builders who are required to remit the transitional tax adjustment on housing; or
e) builders who are reporting provincial transitional new housing rebates.

Unless required to file using GST/HST NETFILE, builders with annual taxable sales > $1.5 million that pay or credit a GST/HST new housing rebate to the purchaser and claim that amount as a deduction from their GST/HST liability. GST/HST NETFILEGST/HST TELEFILE
Businesses that are not required to file using GST/HST NETFILE or GST/HST TELEFILE and with annual taxable sales > $1.5 million, excluding charities. GST/HST NETFILEGST/HST TELEFILE
Paper return

Mandatory electronic filing would apply to all reporting periods ending on or after July 1, 2010. Registrants who fail to file their electronic GST/HST returns in the correct format, or fail to report required information will be subject to penalties.