After returning from traveling, I wanted the flexibility and freedom involved with being an independent contractor. As a newly self-employed individual I have a lot of questions about taxes, such as when and how should I charge GST/HST? Although straight answers and clear direction were hard to come by, I eventually found this article by Susan Ward that explains it quite clearly
Most start-up businesses will be classified as a “Small Supplier” and have no need to charge GST/HST There are, however, two scenarios which may effect your small supplier status and need to charge GST/HST:
1) If you are lucky enough to make more then $30,000 in sales (before expenses) in one calendar quarter (3 months) then at this point you are considered a GST registrant. You will have to collect GST/HST on the supply that made your revenue go over $30,000 and must register within 29 days of of producing the supply that made your revenue exceed $30,000.
2) If your revenue does not top $30,000 in one calendar quarter but does exceed $30,000 over four consecutive calendar quarters (one year), you are a small supplier over that time and for one month after those four quarter. After that you lose your small supplier status on the day you make the first supply after this period and have to register for the GST/HST within 29 days of this date.
To register for GST/HST you can visit the CRA site at:
Once you have determined your GST status, I highly recommend using FreshBooks for your bookkeeping.
Let me know if anyone out there has different information or can offer additional insight.