The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Return is the form used to report the net GST your business owes the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It’s much easier to file your GST return if your bookkeeping is up to date. This makes filling out the GST return a matter of looking up the numbers in your accounting app.

All the lines on the GST return are also boxes where you enter your numbers. Even if you will be filing your return electronically, it’s a good idea to use a form to calculate the GST you owe (or is owed to you) first. Then when you Netfile on CRA’s site, you will have already double-checked your figures and can enter them based on the form in front of you.

One reason having up-to-date bookkeeping is helpful is because some account apps, such as Xero, will provide you with a sales tax report. Then all you have to do is confirm the dates on the sales tax report agree to the GST period you are filing for. It’s also a good idea to check that the figures are reasonable based on your business activities during that period. 

While the GST return provided on CRA’s website does include instructions, a few of the most used line items follow.

GST Return – Line 101

On Line 101, you will enter your sales—net of GST. This means the amount of sales before adding the GST. If you use the GST Quick Method, then you will enter your sales including the GST. This number is rounded to the nearest dollar.

Line 103 – GST Collected

Line 103 is where you enter the amount of GST you collected for the period. Most GST returns are filed quarterly, but depending on your business, you may be required to file monthly or annually. It’s important to make sure you are reporting the figures on your GST return in the correct period.

If you don’t have any adjustments to enter on Line 104, then enter the same amount from Line 103 on Line 105. Otherwise, enter the total of Line 103 plus Line 104 on Line 105.

Line 106 – GST Input Tax Credits (ITCs)

A GST Input Tax Credit is the amount of GST you paid (or is payable) on your eligible business expenses. Enter the amount of GST you paid during the period on Line 106. If you don’t have any adjustments to enter on Line 107, then also enter the amount from Line 106 on Line 108. If you have adjustments, then enter the amount from Line 106 plus the amount on Line 107 on Line 108.

Calculate the Net GST Owing

Subtract Line 108 from Line 105, and enter this amount on Line 109. Provided there are no other credits or debits that apply to your business situation, then this is the amount you owe to the CRA. Enter this amount on Line 115 as well. If the amount is negative, it is a refund and you can enter it on Line 114. This is what the CRA owes you. 

Netfile Your GST Return

Once you have registered to collect GST, the CRA will send you a Netfile access code. You will need this code to file your GST return on the CRA website. Once you are ready to file your return, enter your GST number and your Netfile access code to begin. Then you will be prompted to enter your numbers in the same boxes as discussed above. 

You can find more detailed information about filling out the GST return on the CRA’s website. If you’d like some help with your GST or you think your business may have one of the special situations noted on the form, get in touch. We can help you fill out your GST return and calculate your amount owing to CRA.