How to file your HST—Step by Step | Toronto and Ottawa Wedding Photographer

I have a wonderful accountant. Her name is Jan Jamieson of Jamieson Financial—you should hire her. She is patient, kind, and wants my business to succeed. If it wasn't for her, I would have NO IDEA how to do so many things. One of those things is the entire HST process: Filing and making payment. 

Not everyone is as fortunate to have an amazing accountant who goes above and beyond. For those of you who are in the early stages of your business, I thought I would provide a step by step of how to file your quarterly HST payments. I hope it's a blessing! Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

To file your Ontario quarterly HST click here (If you file annually, I'm assuming it's the same process!)

Before you begin, make sure you have your business number and access code. If you've recently applied for your HST number, it will arrive in the mail shortly! The form looks like this:

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This link should take you the below page. Hit "continue."

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Fill in the requested information.  The reporting periods are the following:


1 quarter: January 1—last day in March (Must file before last day in April).

2 quarter: April 1—last day in June (must file before last day in July).

3 quarter: July 1—last day in September (must file before last day in October).

4 quarter: October 1—last day in December (Must file before last day in January).

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There are likely only 3 categories that you need to fill out: 

1. How much you made for the quarter (before you charged HST).

2. How much HST you collected (or should have collected).

3. How much HST you spent on your business. 

Once you've imported these three numbers, the website will automatically calculate how much you owe. 

Any HST you spend on your business will be subtracted against how much you owe. 

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Once you "next," you will ne provided with a summary. If the information is correct and you are ready to pay within five days, you can check both boxes (I recommend paying right away!)

Save this document and print out for easy access. It will be helpful to give to your accountant at end of year. 

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Step one is finished! You've filed your HST. Now you have to make your payment. Click here continue to make your payment.
 

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Pay now."

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Click "Goods and services tax/Harmonized sales tax (GST/HST)"

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Click "Payment on filing."

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Enter your payment details and how much you owe.

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Check the amount owed and click "Confirm and proceed to pay."

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Click "Pay now."

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It will bring give you the option of payment method. I prefer to do it through my online banking. Check "interact/online" and click "proceed to Online banking."

Choose you financial institution. This will take you to login to your online banking and will allow you to easily make a payment.

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When you've made the payment through your online banking, it will provide you with a transaction receipt. Save this and print it out to have for easy access.

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Tip:

To find what the HST is on top of your pricing do the following formula: price x 0.13 (100 x 0.13) 13.00

To find what the HST is of a total number do the following formula: Price /(divide) 1.13 (100 / 1.13 = 88.49). If you did not charge HST, but have an HST number, you still have to pay HST! This is the formula to help figure out what part you owe. This is especially helpful if you have contracts before you applied for your hst. Once you have your HST number. You HAVE to pay HST on all income after the date you've registered. Since you've already made a contract with someone, you can not charge them HST, so you will have to eat the cost and pay the HST yourself. 

For example: if you have a contract that is $2500.00 (and didn't charge HST), but you have registered for an HST number before they have paid you, you would do the following formula to figure out how much you owe in HST:

2500 / 1.13 = 2212.38 (This is how much they are paying you before the HST percentage)

2500-2212.38 = 287.62 (the amount of HST that you owe)
 

Why do I do quarterly instead of annually?

1. It keeps me organized, 

Doing quarterly filing keeps me organized because it forces me to have all of my numbers in order every three months! If I get behind, it's only 3 months worth of receipts and importing (about 2 hours worth of work, including filing). If I were to do it annually, I would have much more work to do at once. At the end of the year, my yearly business and income taxes are done!

2. It helps me keep on track of what is mine and what is not

Though I am habitual about setting aside the HST immediately after it's brought in, it can be easy to neglect and then get hit at the end. Doing it quartely makes for no big surprises at the end of the year where I thought I had thousands of dollars more than I did! (CPP and income tax are usually a big enough surprise).