Sales Taxes

Top 10 Reasons for Opting Into the GST Today

Kelly Giroux
November 25, 2020

Affiliate disclosure

If you are on the fence about finally registering for GST, here are 10 reasons (some serious) that you’ll want to without delay.

Disclaimer: We enjoy light-hearted professionalism, but are dead serious about getting your filings right.

You might have read our article on Do I have to charge GST?, and maybe even our post on HST. You’ve been wondering if you should charge your customers GST, and are doing some quick math to see if you’re nearing the $30,000 threshold. Let me give you a few more reasons that you should bite the bullet, and start charging GST without delay.

  1. Registering your business for a GST account allows you to put that super official looking multi-digit number at the bottom, breaking up some of the white space on your invoice, and giving you something to add between ‘this is how much you owe me’ and ‘please pay soon’. Not compelling enough? How about:
  2. Having an invoice with a GST number at the bottom makes you and your business seem that much more legit. No?
  3. Opening a GST account with the CRA triggers a periodic filing deadline, adding needed structure and routine to your life. We all appreciate the constancy of circumstances and rules that AREN’T changing every week these days, amirite?
  4. While no one LIKES paying tax, it is what keeps our standard of living here in Canada as good as it is – keeping roads paved, keeping healthcare free(ish), etc. Doing your part and contributing to the taxation of transactions keeps the wheels churning – it’s the Canadian way.
  5. People truly are accustomed to paying GST – they won’t be terribly surprised to begin paying tax on your products too.
  6. Charging GST will allow you to start marketing campaigns like “We Pay The GST!!” which people love, notwithstanding points 4&5, above.
  7. When you charge GST (or HST), you need to pass that money on (accounting lingo: remit) to the government, and you know what we’ve been told since we were children: ‘Tis better to give than to receive’ <= Woohoo! Yay you!
  8. You don’t actually have to give the government ALL of the GST you collect from your customers: You’re allowed to add up any tax you’ve paid on your business expenses, and only send the government the difference. That’s sort of the same as getting some of your expenses recouped – which you couldn’t do before you began charging tax. (Circle back to point #5 – if your customers are businesses, they will get the tax they pay you back as their ITCs, helping them offset their GST remittances)
  9. If you’ve been spending a lot of money on purchases to grow your business, this could mean that you actually have already paid more GST than you’ve collected from your customers, which means A REFUND! Thanks Gov!!
  10. GST Filings are something we do at Avalon in our sleep* - and we’re happy to do them for you, or help you do them, if you’re looking to work out your math muscles. We’re awfully nice people, so we wouldn’t fault you for wanting to spend more time with us!

On a more serious note, if you are really on the fence about registering for GST, just do it. The 30K threshold might be subconsciously holding you back from growing your business. If it’s fear of how to do your bookkeeping that’s causing you stress, register your interest for our bookkeeping course. It covers all of the basics on how to keep your records in order, including your GST. You got this!

* We do not condone accounting while sleeping – at least not on client files. We are, however, well-versed in dreams consisting of accounting for your closet contents, counting the uncounted sheep, or reconciling who ate which doughnuts yesterday.

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Thanks for reading!
Article by
Kelly Giroux
Originally published
November 25, 2020
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