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Here's How Canada's GST Credit Works & When To Expect Your Money

You could be eligible!

Staff Writer
Canadian money. Right: Justin Trudeau at a press conference.

Canadian money. Right: Justin Trudeau at a press conference.

There are plenty of ways the Government of Canada gives out money to Canadians in need, including the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit, which applies to lower-income residents and helps offset the impact of the federal sales tax on some households. But figuring out how it works is a little complicated, which is why we've broken it down as simply as possible.

What is the GST credit in Canada?

The Goods and Services Tax credit is a tax-free, quarterly government initiative that returns some of the money residents pay as tax on products, and — you'll never guess — services. The exact amount each household receives depends on their income and composition.

Who is eligible for the Canada GST credit?

Anyone who is considered a resident of Canada (in the context of income tax) can be eligible, as long as they're also either 19 or older, have a spouse (or common-law partner) and/or have children. If you once filled any of these criteria during a tax period but you no longer do, you're still eligible for the credit during the period in which you filled the criteria.

There's no application process for the GST credit. If you've filed your taxes with the CRA, you've automatically been considered. Any families with net incomes under $39,826 in 2021 received the maximum payout. GST credit amounts decrease above that income level.

How does the 2022 GST credit increase work?

The government instituted a temporary six-month doubling of the GST credit to help families cope with inflation and the rising cost of living. Credit payments usually go out in four installments spread out over two six-month periods. The doubling means that eligible households will receive one additional payment equal to the amount they would receive in a single six-month period.

The exact amount of extra cash you'll receive depends on how much you're already eligible to receive. This additional payment is also a one-time thing — unless inflation gets worse and the government gets nicer.

How much is the GST credit?

It depends on your marital status, number of children and income level. For 2021, meaning for the payments you'd receive in 2022 and 2023, the maximum amounts the government could give you are:

  • $467 if you are single
  • and $612 if you are married or have a common-law partner,
  • plus $161 for each child under 19 years of age,
according to GST information pages. There's an online calculator to estimate GST credit amounts for each household's situation.

When are the GST credit payment dates?

Most of you will typically receive your yearly GST credit in four installments, each on the fifth of July and October, then the following year in January and April (unless the fifth is a Sunday, in which case payments go out on the previous business day).

The special 2022 extra payments started going out on November 4.

How can I claim my GST credit payment?

You don't need to do anything! The government will automatically consider you for the GST credit and apply it to your accounts on the dates referenced above.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Willa Holt
    Staff Writer
    Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused on apartments for rent and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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