Why should my business charge and collect HST if it doesn’t have too? ITC Input Tax Credits

If you run your own business in Canada (self-employed or corporation), you are not required to charge and collect HST unless you make more than $30,000.

So assuming you are under the $30,000 limit, the question becomes whether you should voluntarily register for an HST number and then charge and collect it. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

The argument for why you would not register for HST and would not charge or collect it, is obviously that you can save your customers 13%. If your services cost $100 then you would charge your customers $100 with no tax and that is all they would pay. On the flip side, if you do register for HST number then you must charge and collect it, so the same $100 service now costs your customer an additional 13% for a total of $113 instead of $100. If you are selling smaller priced products or services, this may not be much of an issue, but as the price increases, not charging HST could be an advantage over competitors.

Now you might be wondering if there is even an argument as to why you would want to voluntarily register for HST and charge and collect it. Absolutely there is, and the reason has to do with being able to claim back the HST you pay on all your expenses related to your business. When you do not charge or collect HST, then you can not claim back the HST you paid on your expenses as an ITC (Input Tax Credit) refund.

The easiest way to explain this is to show you an example for each scenario. We will use a business that generates $25,000 in income and has $10,000 in expenses, and we will assume 13% for HST and will assume an income tax rate of 30%. Remember that even if you do not charge or collect HST, you are stil required to pay HST on all your business expenses.

FIRST EXAMPLE
NOT REGISTERED FOR HST and DO NOT CHARGE or COLLECT HST:

Gross Income = $25,000
HST collected on Income = $0.00

Business Expenses = $10,000
HST paid on Business Expenses = $1,300

Net Income = Gross Income less Business Expenses less HST paid on Business Expenses
= $25,000 – $10,000 – $1,300
= $13,700

ITC Refund (HST paid on expenses) = $0 (not allowed to claim an ITC Refund in this example)

After Tax Income = Net Income less 30% Income Tax Rate
= $13,700 – $4,110
= $9,590

Left over income you get to spend = After Tax Income plus ITC Refund
= $9,590 + $0
= $9,590

SECOND EXAMPLE
REGISTERED FOR HST and DO CHARGE and COLLECT HST:

Gross Income = $25,000
HST collected on Income = $3,250 (you just collect it and pass it on to the Government)

Business Expenses = $10,000
HST paid on Business Expenses = $1,300

Net Income = Gross Income less Business Expenses (not including HST paid)
= $25,000 – $10,000
= $15,000

ITC Refund (HST paid on expenses) = $1,300

After Tax Income = Net Income less 30% Income Tax Rate
= $15,000 – $4,500
= $10,500

Left over income you get to spend = After Tax Income plus ITC Refund less HST Paid On Expenses
= $10,500 + $1,300 – $1,300
= $10,500

FINAL OUTCOME
So when we look at the two examples above, we see that in the Second Example, by registering for an HST number and charging and collecting HST, we can then claim back an ITC Refund of the HST we paid on our expenses, which gives us $10,500 left over to spend versus only $9,590 left to spend in the First Example where we did not charge or collect HST. That’s an additional $910 in your pocket.

Unused RRSP Contributions confusion

by Anonymous Guest

NOTICE: This is not financial or legal advice. This is for educational purposes only.

My most recent Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has left me dazed and confused (well nothing new there)! The assessment includes my RRSP Deduction Limit Statement which, at the very bottom, tells me “You have $6800 (B) of unused RRSP contributions available“.

So I went looking for information about what this really means and it was not easy to find. First of all we need to clarify the CRA’s use of the terms “deduction” and “contribution”. We have several items to consider:

– RRSP deduction limit
– Unused RRSP deduction limit
– RRSP contributions
– Unused RRSP contributions

What is most confusing about the CRA’s Notice of Assessment is that many people will mistake the “unused RRSP contributions” listed at the bottom as being “unused RRSP deductions”. But these unused RRSP contributions are contributions that you actually made in a previous year but did not claim as a deduction against your income, so you can now still use them to reduce your taxable income in a future year.

But be careful because this now reduces your maximum contribution limit. So what you really want to figure out is not what your RRSP Deduction Limit is, but what you RRSP Contribution Limit is, because if you over contribute you will have to pay tax on the excess contributions which defeats the purpose of putting money into an RRSP. Its actually a very simple calculation, so here it is:

RRSP Deduction Limit for current year (A)
MINUS Unused RRSP Contributions for current year (B)
EQUALS Maximum RRSP Contribution you should make for current year.

Simple example:

RRSP Deduction Limit for current year (A) = $16,800

Unused RRSP Contributions for current year (B) = $6,800

Maximum RRSP Contribution you should make for current year = $16,800 – $6,800 = $10,000

So for this example, do not exceed RRSP contributions of $10,000.

Also note (for the example above) that if you do not make any contributions at all to your RRSP for the current year, you can still deduct up to a maximum of $6,800 from your income. Or to say it another way, you can apply the previous Unused RRSP Contributions against your current income even if you did not make any contributions for the current year.

Hope this helps you be less confused.

NOTICE: This is not financial or legal advice. This is for educational purposes only.