When to Collect the GST and QST

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The GST and QST must be collected on the earlier of the following dates:

  • the date an amount of money is paid for a property or service;
  • the date an amount of money is due for a property or service.

An amount of money is considered to be paid when you receive it.

An amount of money is considered to be due, in whole or in part, on the earliest of the following dates:

  • the date on which an invoice is first issued;
  • the date indicated on the invoice;
  • the date on which the invoice would have been issued had it not been for an undue delay;
  • the due date given in a written agreement.

A number of specific rules stem from this general rule.

Specific rules

Additional situations in which specific rules apply can be found under Special Cases – GST/HST and QST.

Motor vehicle sold in the course of your commercial activities

If you make a retail sale of a motor vehicle, the QST is payable to the Societe de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) when the vehicle is registered. However, if the vehicle is not registered within 15 days following its delivery to the purchaser, the QST is payable when the vehicle is delivered.

Payment made in instalments

The taxes on each instalment must generally be paid on the earlier of the following dates:

  • the date the instalment is made;
  • the date the instalment is due.

However, when corporeal movable property (tangible personal property for GST purposes) is sold and ownership or possession is transferred to the purchaser before payment in full, the taxes on instalments not yet made must be collected no later than the last day of the month following the month of the transfer.

Vending machine

The taxes are deemed to have been collected on the date the money is removed from the machine.

Rental property

The taxes are payable no later than the date on which the lessee is required to pay the rent under the written contract.

Construction contracts

A portion of a construction contract payment is often withheld as security until the transaction is completed in accordance with a federal or provincial law, or a written agreement relating to the construction, renovation, alteration or repair of a building, boat or other sea-going vessel. In this case, the GST and QST must be collected on the earlier of the following dates:

  • the date the amount is withheld;
  • the date the amount is due.

Conditional sales and instalment sales

Conditional sales are sales that are subject to one or more conditions. Sales made on a trial basis (that is, sales that become final only after possession on a trial basis has yielded conclusive results) are the most common type of conditional sale. An instalment sale is where possession of the property is transferred to the purchaser but ownership of the property is transferred only after all instalments for the total sale price have been paid. In all conditional and instalment sales, the GST and QST are payable, on any amount that has not already been paid or become payable, on the last day of the month following the month in which ownership or possession of the property is transferred to the recipient.

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