When do I need a GST/HST number as an independent contractor?

Figuring out when to charge GST/HST Being self-employed I have a lot of questions about taxes, such as when and how should I charge GST/HST? Most small businesses will start as a “Small Supplier” and have no need to charge GST/HST. There are two scenarios which may effect your small supplier status and you will have to charge GST/HST:

  1. If you are lucky enough to make more than $30,000 in sales before expenses in one calendar quarter. You will have to collect GST/HST on the supply that made your revenue go over $30,000. You must register within 29 days of of producing the supply that made your revenue exceed $30,000.
  2. If your revenue does not reach $30,000 in one quarter but does exceed $30,000 over four consecutive quarters. You are a small supplier over this time and for one month after those four quarter. You’ll lose your small supplier status on the day you make the first supply after this period. You will have to register for the GST/HST within 29 days of this date.

Once you have your GST status determined, I recommend more involved bookkeeping software. When I started I used FreshBooks and it served my needs well. Since incorporating and my bookkeeping getting more involved I switched to Quickbooks for your bookkeeping.

How do I register for a GST/HST number?

The Government of Canada has a great resource, Register for a GST/HST account which provides direction on how to register online, by form or with a phone call to 1-800-959-5525. If you call be prepared with your business number, certain program accounts, and answer details from the form.

8 Comments


  1. If I hire a contract worker do they charge me GST?


    1. It would depend on how much they are making, pass along this article to them and they can asses their own situation.


  2. My husband is now working for a contractor out of Niagara. He has been offered several jobs installing decks, flooring, decks that support pools, as well as, as wheel chair accessible ramps for these area. Other people outside of this facility are inquiring for his work for decks and w/c assessable ramps and so on so fourth. What kind of a GST registry would he require? Or would he have to obtain an “x” amount of revenue prior to registering? And can this be just cash based or through a government funding for the potential client until he is established as a contractor on his own. We have several people in need of my husbands expertise and wondering if you can answer our questions. Thank you so very much. If you are unable to assist, can you direct us in the right direction.


  3. As an independent contractor, what are the steps to registering for GST/HST. I am just hitting the $30,000 mark the second week of December. Do I need a business number and business name to register for GST/HST? Is there a fee to be paid in order to receive a business number?


  4. I am a service provider…hairstylist ..indepentent contractor ….am I expected to pay half of gst of the salon owner ?


    1. Hi Debbie,

      It would really depend on the way your contracting situation is set up? Do you and salon owners split the profits of your sales?

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