Reporting Periods

Your reporting period is determined when you register for the GST and QST. Your filing frequency for GST and QST purposes will be assigned on the basis of your and your associates' (if applicable) total annual taxable supplies made in Canada. Your assigned filing frequency (monthly, quarterly or annual) is given on your confirmation of registration.

You must have the same fiscal year under the GST and QST systems so that your filing frequencies are identical for the two taxes. As a rule, the fiscal year is identical to the taxation year for income tax purposes.

If you file on a monthly or quarterly basis, you must remit the amount of net GST and QST payable, or claim your refund, each time you file your return.

If you file on an annual basis, you may be required, as of the second year, to remit the taxes in four instalments each year.

You are not required to make instalments if your net GST or QST payable for the current year or the previous year is less than $3,000. Simply file the annual return and remit the net GST or QST payable, or claim your refund. The $3,000 limit refers to the total net GST or QST payable by your business as a whole, including all its branches and divisions, even if your branches or divisions file separate returns.

Dates to remember
Monthly or quarterly reporting period
One month after the last day of your reporting period Filing deadline for your GST and QST returns1
Annual reporting period
Three months after the last day of your reporting period Filing deadline for your GST and QST returns1
Last day of the month following the end of each quarter in your fiscal year Deadline for instalment payments of GST and QST (if you are required to pay instalments)
April 30 (for sole proprietorships) Deadline for remitting GST and QST if your fiscal year ends on December 31
June 15 (for sole proprietorships) Filing deadline for GST and QST returns if your fiscal year ends on December 31
Note
  1. See the remittance schedules for the remittance deadline that applies to your reporting period.

Changing your filing frequency

The table below shows the assigned filing frequencies and the possible elections you can make to change the assigned frequency. The table does not apply to charities, which can choose their filing frequency regardless of the amount of their total annual supplies, or to garment manufacturers, which are required to file monthly returns under the QST system.

Assigned filing frequency and possible elections based on total taxable supplies

Annual taxable supplies Assigned filing frequency Possible election
Over $6,000,000 Monthly None
Over $1,500,000 but not over $6,000,000 Quarterly Monthly
$1,500,000 or less Annual
(with or without instalments)
Monthly or quarterly

If you wish to change your assigned filing frequency, you must file form FP-2620-V, Election Respecting the GST/HST and QST Reporting Period.

If you expect to claim refunds often, a shorter reporting period is to your advantage. Once you have chosen a filing frequency, you must normally use it for at least one year.

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