Why You Should Register for the GST or HST Even If You Don’t Have To
Registering for the GST/HST before you have to can be an advantage
We know you probably don’t feel like registering for a GST/HST number until you absolutely have to, and we even know why. Who wants the extra hassle if you can (legally) avoid it?
What you may not have considered is that not registering for the GST/HST actually tells clients something about you…something that maybe you don’t want them to know.
Being a ‘Small Supplier’
Most businesspeople in Canada know that you don’t have to register for the GST/HST until you’re billing at least $30,000 per year through your business. Businesses that bill less are known as ‘Small Suppliers’, and are exempt from having to register for the GST/HST.
Many have not considered the flip side: if you don’t have a GST/HST number, you are broadcasting your ‘small supplier’ status to everyone. That includes your clients.
Depending on the kind of business you’re in, or the reputation you’ve forged, it may not matter much that you clients know this about you. If that’s not the case for you, however, consider keeping things private by registering for the GST/HST even if you haven’t reached that $30,000 threshold.
Sunny Widerman has been preparing income tax returns for entrepreneurial Canadians and their friends since 2002. Her friendly, non-judgemental approach to tax services and advice and lively public speaking style have made her a favourite among audiences and clients alike. She has been featured by Advisor's Edge, the Canadian Media Guild, the Professional Writer's Association of Canada, the Editor's Association of Canada, CARFAC Dispatch and others.