If applied in the appropriate situation, the GST/HST quick method can save business owners tax and time.

Typically, businesses can use the quick method if taxable sales (including GST/HST and zero-rated supplies) for the business and their associates do not exceed $400,000 for the fiscal year.

When using the quick method, instead of claiming the GST/HST paid on purchases as an input tax credit, you need only remit a portion of the tax you collect to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Tax savings can often be realized in businesses where salaries are the major expense, for example:

  • IT consultants
  • delivery services;
  • dry cleaners;
  • auto repair shops;
  • quick-service food outlets;
  • house-cleaning services;
  • campgrounds;
  • caterers;
  • delicatessens;
  • painting contractors;
  • photographers; and
  • taxi drivers etc.

Assuming a business has the following income statement:

Expenses Revenue
 Fees billed   $200,000
 Salaries   $100,000
 Other expenses subject  to HST  $25,000  $125,000
 Net Income     $75,000

Here is the net HST owing with the regular GST/HST method:

 Regular GST/HST method:  
 HST collected ($200,000 x 13%)   $26,000
 HST paid ($25,000 x 13%)  ($3,250)
 Net HST owing   $22,750

Alternatively, here is the net HST owing with the Quick Method (note the savings):

 Quick method:  
 Fees billed including HST   $226,000
 Quick method rate of 8.8% [1]   $19,888
 1% credit [2]   ($300)
 Net HST owing   $19,588
 Savings using the quick method   $3,162

Businesses using the quick method can still claim input tax credits for purchases of capital items such as equipment, computers, etc.


As with most things in tax, there are a number of exceptions and exclusions for using the quick method. Please note that the following are excluded from using the quick method:

  • persons that provide legal, accounting or actuarial services in the course of the person’s professional practice;
  • persons that provide bookkeeping, financial consulting, tax consulting or tax return preparation services in the course of the person’s commercial activity;

Other Resources

The CRA also makes a quick method guide available on this link: RC4058 – Quick Method of Accounting for GST/HST.


[1] 8.8% is The remittance rate for a service business operating in Ontario and whose supplies are purchased in Ontario.There are two different sets of remittance rate tables, one for businesses that purchase goods for resale and one for businesses that provide services. Within each set of rates, there are specific rates for the province in which the business operates and the province in which the business purchases supplies.

[2] Each year businesses are entitled to a 1% credit on the first $30,000 of eligible supplies (including the GST/HST) on which GST/HST must be collected.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to inform readers in general terms. It is not intended to provide any tax or business advice. Please consult your Stern Cohen advisor if you have any questions about your unique situation. While we have tried to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, we accept no liability for errors or omissions.