Eligibility Requirements For GST Cheques
November 15, 2021 Andrew AdolphGST
How Do I Know If I Qualify For GST Cheques?
GST cheques are a significant tax-free benefit for low to moderate-income families and individuals. This quarterly payment includes payments from the province or the territory these families reside. Of course, the province or territory determines whether GST, HST or a combination of GST and Provincial Sales Tax (PST) is collected.
To apply for the GST/HST credit, you must file your income tax return. If you have a spouse, your tax return should have your spouse’s first name, social insurance number, and net income for tax purposes.
Am I Eligible For GST/HST Credit?
Generally speaking, the GST credit is available to Canadian residents who:
- Meet the CRA income tax requirements in the previous month and the month in which the CRA makes payments
- Are at least 19 of age
- Are (or were) a parent who lives (or lived) with your dependents
- Live (or lived) with a spouse or common-law partner
Additionally, if you’re a parent sharing custody of a child, you may be eligible for half of the GST/HST credit for your child. This rule may also apply to related provincial and territorial credit.
However, if your child is under the legal, physical, or financial care of a welfare agency, you’re not generally eligible for GST/HST credit for this child.
Who Does Not Qualify For GST/HST Credit?
There are a few reasons why you might not qualify for GST cheques, such as:
- Incarceration lasting 90 consecutive days or more
- You or a member of your family is an officer/employee/foreign servant exempt from Canadian taxes.
How To Get Your GST Cheques
So when do you start receiving GST cheques? To claim yours, you must file an annual tax return in addition to other related provincial or territorial credits, even if you earned no income that year.
If you recently settled in Canada, you can apply for the GST/HST credit with Form RC51, which counts for the year you become a resident of Canada.
The links below contain helpful information for newcomers to Canada. However, consider talking to a tax professional since tax laws get complicated.
Note that you have up to three years to request a retroactive payment. If you missed the filing date for your tax returns in the three years, then you can request under the taxpayer relief provisions of the Income Tax Act.
Feel free to visit these resources for more information on taxpayer relief provisions:
When Are GST Cheques Issued?
You will receive your yearly GST/HST credit in four payments, based on your 2020 tax return, so mark your calendar for upcoming GST cheque dates:
- July 5 and October 5, 2021
- January 5 and April 5, 2022
Note that if your GST/HST credit calculated in July 2021 is less than $50 per quarter, you will be paid for the entire payment period on July 5, 2021.
If you don’t receive your GST cheques on the dates scheduled, it’s best if you wait ten working days before contacting the CRA.
What To Do If The CRA Reviews Your GST Benefits
You may receive a questionnaire or a letter requesting documents to confirm that the CRA’s information for you is updated. The CRA may also review information such as:
- Marital status
- Whether you are your children’s primary caregiver.
This assessment ensures you receive the correct amount of credit and benefits.
Call 1-800-387-1193 or the number on your letter if you experience issues such as:
- Trouble getting the documents requested by the CRA
- If you need more time to obtain your documents
- If you need a copy of the letter or questionnaire
Submit Your Documents
You must provide all the information requested by the CRA. If you don’t, you risk losing the child and family benefits.
There are three ways to send your documents:
- Using this submit documents online link
- Sending an email to the address in the letter
- Faxing the number in the letter
You may also have an authorized representative send these documents. When mailing your records, make sure they:
- Include the information requested by the CRA
- Cover the whole period under review
- Are acceptable supporting documents by the CRA
- Are clear and easy to read
Of course, make sure to save a copy of any receipts, forms, and documents before you send them to the CRA.
After Submitting Your Records
After submitting your documents, you should receive feedback from the CRA no later than 45 days after receiving your documents. However, you may continue to submit additional documents to support your request.
Remember to keep your information updated to ensure you’re receiving the correct amount of benefits and credit.
Wondering How To Get Your GST Cheques? Help Is Here.
GST cheques are a critical financial lifeline for many Canadians. If the CRA hasn’t released your GST cheque, call 604-240-6173, so I can help you qualify for your money sooner.
As a former CRA auditor, I understand how the system works and support you. If you have more questions about taxes, help is just a click away! Check out the Blog for more information or book a free appointment.
- Canada Revenue Agency. (n.d.). GST/HST credit – Overview. Canada.ca. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/goods-services-tax-harmonized-sales-tax-gst-hst-credit.html
- Canada Revenue Agency. (n.d.). GST/HST credit – Eligibility. Canada.ca. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/gsthstc-eligibility.html
- Canada Revenue Agency. (n.d.). What to do if the CRA reviews your benefits. Government Of Canada/Gouvernement du Canada. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/validating-your-eligibility-benefits-credits.html
Andrew Adolph is a CPA and former CRA auditor with 25 Years of experience. He helps businesses to not par any more in sales taxs than the law says they must and acts as an advocate for you if you are being audited, so you can fous on your business.