GOODS AND SERVICES TAX CREDIT (GSTC)

Eligibility

Any individual eligible for the quarterly GSTC based on their 2018 personal income tax filings will be eligible for an additional payment in May, 2020.  Some others may be entitled to a one-time payment, even if their income is too high to receive quarterly payments.

Benefits

As is the case with the regular GSTC, the one-time payment will depend on family composition (whether the recipient is married or single; number of children in the household).  As well, the benefit is income-tested, and is reduced when “adjusted income” exceeds $37,789.

The mathematical formulas in the legislation will result in individuals or families with 2018 “adjusted income” less than $37,789 receiving a single payment equal to four quarterly GSTC payments (for example, $886 for a family of four).

For higher-income recipients, the mathematical formulas result in the reduction for “adjusted income” in excess of $37,789 being only half as large as it would be for the usual computation, so some individuals or families would receive a payment greater than four quarterly GSTC payments.

As well, some individuals or families whose “adjusted income” was too high to qualify for any quarterly GSTC payments will be eligible for this one-time payment.  For example, a family of four would be ineligible for quarterly payments if their “adjusted income” exceeded about $55,500.  However, a family of four with income under $73,000 would still qualify for a modest one-time payment.

Application process

Like the quarterly GSTC, this benefit is managed under the income tax system.  No special application is required as the payment will be calculated by CRA based on income tax returns filed for 2018.

Other notes

The legislation provides that this shall be paid in May, 2020, or such earlier month as may be designated by the Finance Minister, so it is possible that these payments will be released in April, 2020.

Families not presently receiving the GSTC may wish to confirm that CRA has a record of all minor children in their custody to ensure the calculations reflect these individuals.  Taxpayers registered with CRA’s MyAccount service can view the children CRA shows under their custody online through that service.