If you have paid more than you owe in goods and services tax (GST), or harmonized sales tax (HST), you might be eligible to file a GST HST rebate claim with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). However, the process is not straightforward for many taxpayers. If you are unsure of how to claim your rebate or if you need help calculating your rebate, consider contacting Jeremy Scott Law by calling (902) 403-7201.
What Are GST HST Rebate Claims?
Sometimes GST or HST registrants pay more tax than they owe for these special types of taxes. With a GST HST rebate claim, the registrant may be able to claim a rebate for the amount of GST or HST they overpaid.
Reasons for GST/HST/QST Rebate Claims
The CRA lists 33 reasons why a person can claim a GST/HST or QST rebate for certain goods and services. Some common reasons for GST HST rebate claims include:
- Amounts paid in error
- Certain investment plans and segregated funds
- Commercial goods and artistic works exported by a non-resident
- Lease of land for residential purposes
- New housing owner-built property
- Specially-equipped motor vehicle
The CRA lists each of the reasons for GST HST rebate claims, the unique reason code, and the relevant form that will need to be filed to claim your rebate.
How to Make a GST HST Rebate Claim
For most purposes, you will complete Form GST189, which is the general application for GST HST rebate claims. The CRA also provides a guide – RC4033 – and instructions that describe eligibility for a rebate claim for each of the valid reasons for the rebate. For example, if the taxpayer paid GST or HST in error (Code 1C), the instructions state the registrant must include :
- The reason the amount (of GST/HST) is not payable or remittable;
- details on how you calculated your claim; and
- copies of receipts for all purchases that you list.
The instructions also state that a person can generally only file one rebate application in the same calendar month. The instructions also state the deadline for when the rebate must be filed, such as within two years from when the claimant paid the tax when it was paid in error.
Possible Problems You May Encounter When Making GST HST Rebate Claims
After you file a GST/HST rebate claim, the CRA reviews it and sends a notice of assessment to the taxpayer that explains the assessment of the rebate claim. However, some problems may cause issue with your rebate claim, such as:
- You did not complete the necessary forms in full
- You incorrectly calculated the rebate
- You did not provide requested documents with your application
These issues can cause your rebate to be delayed or denied.
If you still need to file certain tax returns, the CRA may withhold any GST/HST rebate you are otherwise entitled to until you file the missing returns. Jeremy Scott Law can help you prepare your rebate and avoid common mistakes.
GST HST Rebate Claims for Employment Expenses
One common reason taxpayers make GST HST rebate claims is because they were required to pay for employment expenses. To make these types of claims, employees must:
- Claim eligible expenses on their tax return
- File Form T777, Statement of Employment Expenses with their tax return
- Calculate their eligible expenses, including GST/HST paid on vehicle maintenance and gas, the work-use portion of their eligible expenses, GST/HST paid on eligible expenses for food, beverages, and entertainment, expenses for a taxable allowance, unreimbursed employment expenses, and accommodations
- Have their employer approve and sign Form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment
- Complete Form GST370 for the GST/HST rebate claim
- Retain records to support your rebate claim
GST/HST rebates may need to be included in the taxpayer’s income for the year they received it on Line 10400 of their income tax return. Rebates can affect capital cost allowances for the tax year you receive them.
If the rebate claim is not filed with the taxpayer’s income tax return, they can send it separately to their tax centre. Taxpayers have up to four years to file for their rebate.
GST/HST rebates are not payable to taxpayers for this purpose if their employer is not a GST/HST registrant or is a listed financial institution.
GST/HST Rebates for New Houses
Another popular reason to make GST HST rebate claims is to receive credit for expenses paid related to new houses. Individuals may be able to recover some of the GST or the federal portion of the HST if they paid for a new or substantially renovated house to use as their primary residence or as the primary residence for their relative. Taxpayers may be entitled to rebates if they did any of the following:
- Built a new house on land they owned or leased
- Substantially renovated their house
- Built a major addition to their house
- Converted a non-residential property into their house
- Purchased a new or substantially renovated manufactured home
- Purchased a new or substantially renovated house from a builder
- Bought, built, or substantially renovated housing to rent for long-term residential use for others
- Purchased a share of the capital stock of a co-op
There may also be province-specific rebates available, such as if the house is located in Nova Scotia or Ontario.
Contact Jeremy Scott Law for Help with GST HST Rebate Claims
If you need help with your GST HST rebate claims, have questions about whether you qualify for a rebate, or need assistance with another tax matter, consider contacting a knowledgeable tax lawyer with Jeremy Scott Law. You can arrange a confidential consultation by calling (902) 403-7201.