Change Country

International Businesses

New GST/HST Filing Requirements for E-Commerce in Canada

Posted on July 12, 2021 by

Sue Tuson

Sue Tuson

Share This

If you’re a foreign company selling goods or services online in Canada, you should be aware of the latest GST/HST filing requirements for e-commerce transactions. The new Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) registration requirements for non-residents of Canada are expected to become law with a retroactive date of July 1, 2021. These new rules are in response to the cross-border digital supply of products and services to Canadian customers by non-residents.

Historically, non-residents were required to register to collect GST/HST if they were carrying on business in Canada and making taxable sales of goods and services. Generally, whether a non-resident was “carrying on business “ was based on a number of factors including the non-resident being physically present in Canada selling goods or providing services to Canadian customers and the sale of those goods/services exceeded the “small supplier” threshold of $30,000 CAD in a twelve-month period.  Canada has modernized its laws to capture the GST/HST on sales of digital goods and services, and is now holding digital platform providers responsible for collecting taxes on these sales.

Here is a general overview of the new rules:

  • Small Business Exception – Sales of digital goods and services exceeding the small supplier threshold of $30,000 will result in the non-resident seller having to register for GST/HST if the purchaser is NOT a GST/HST registrant. This means that sellers should request the buyer’s GST/HST registration number to confirm that they are registered. This is an important consideration if you are making sales to not-for-profit entities, entities that meet the small business exception, or individual consumers.
  • Platform Operators – Platform operators, businesses who provide platforms that businesses use to make sales to consumers, now have joint and severable liability to collect GST/HST on the sales they facilitate for others.
  • GST – GST of 5% only is in effect for Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon.
  • HST – HST is in effect in Ontario (13%), New Brunswick (15%), Newfoundland and Labrador (15%) Nova Scotia (15%) and Prince Edward Island (15%).
  • GST plus PST – British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan have GST of 5% plus provincial sales tax (PST) in effect. The PST is administered by each individual province. Non-resident businesses meeting the filing thresholds established by each province would be subject to collecting the PST when selling to the end-user consumer and businesses unless the good/service is being purchased for resale.
  • GST plus QST – GST plus Quebec sales tax (QST) will apply to sales of taxable digital goods and services. These rules are similar to the GST/HST rules. The combined rate including GST for Quebec is 14.975%.

Contact Us

Non-compliance with these rules can result in very large tax liabilities very quickly. If you need assistance in determining whether your business is responsible for the collection of these taxes, please contact us.

Sue Tuson


As an international tax advisor, Sue helps businesses structure their operations globally to mitigate tax costs and maximize profits.

Related Insights

International Businesses

Bringing Mobility to Detroit

Posted on September 13, 2022 by

Teresa Gordon leader of the global accounting team at Clayton & McKervey
We’re excited to share this news from the Detroit Regional Partnership. For companies needing help planning mobility focused expansion to the US – from the UK, Europe or Asia, there is a well-connected team to help with all aspects of foreign direct investment.  Learn more about how we can help here.

International Businesses

The Future of Global Mobility Tax

Posted on September 12, 2022 by

Teresa Gordon leader of the global accounting team at Clayton & McKervey
The global mobility landscape is changing. What began as a need to work from home during the worldwide pandemic is evolving into a “work from anywhere” trend that appears to be here to stay. Learn how this impacts the competition for talent and multi-jurisdiction tax compliance.

International Businesses

Teresa Gordon Chosen for SelectUSA Mentorship

Posted on June 24, 2022 by

Clayton & Mckervey
C&M Shareholder Teresa Gordon will be participating in SelectUSA’s Select Global Women in Tech (SGWIT) Mentorship Network.

The Sound of Automation Podcast

Industrial automation businesses are the driving force behind Industry 4.0, and Clayton & McKervey is here to help.

Skip to content