In a recent edition of Excise and GST/HST News, the CRA summarized the timing issues that apply to eligible public service bodies (PSB) when claiming PSB rebates for GST/HST paid on eligible purchases.  A PSB is defined as a charity, a non-profit organization, a municipality, a university, a public college, a school authority or hospital authority. PSBs eligible to claim the PSB rebate should review the CRA article to confirm the time limits that will apply when claiming the rebate.

The PSB rebate is a percentage of the GST (or federal portion of HST) paid by a PSB on eligible purchases and expenses, including general operating expenses for which input tax credits are unavailable, property and services used, consumed or supplied in the course of exempt activities, and certain capital property. Certain PSBs may also be eligible to claim a PSB rebate for the provincial portion of the HST. The PSB rebate is potentially available to both GST/HST registrants and non-registrants.

CRA confirms that the PSB rebate must be calculated and claimed on a claim period by claim period basis. The claim period for a GST/HST registrant is the same as its reporting period for its GST/HST returns (which may be annual, quarterly or monthly). For non-registrants, there are two claim periods in the fiscal year (first six months and last six months). A PSB is eligible for the rebate if it is (i) a charity, (ii) a non-profit organization that receives at least 40% government funding, or (iii) a selected PSB, on the last day of the claim period (or the last day of the fiscal year that includes the claim period).

The PSB rebate is calculated on the basis of the PSB’s “non-creditable tax charged”, which refers to the total GST/HST that became payable during the claim period or was paid during the claim period without having become payable, minus certain amounts. GST/HST paid or payable in one claim period generally cannot be included in a subsequent claim period. 

The PSB rebate is claimed in respect of each claim period by filing an application using Form GST66. For GST/HST registrants, the application must be filed within four years of the due date of its GST/HST return for the claim period. For non-registrants, the application must be filed within four years of the last day of the claim period. 

CRA confirms that if a PSB has not claimed PSB rebates for several claim periods, it should file a separate rebate application form for each claim period for which it is eligible to claim a rebate. The PSB should not consolidate rebates for multiple claim periods into one rebate application. Likewise, if a PSB has already claimed a PSB rebate for a claim period and subsequently determines that additional GST/HST was paid or payable in the period, it must file an adjustment to the previous rebate application. It should not include the additional tax in a rebate application for a different period.

CRA also confirms that it will no longer require applicants of GST/HST rebates to submit original supporting documentation with their claims and that photocopies, faxes, and CDs with scanned images of receipts, invoices, etc. will be accepted. The original documents must be maintained in the applicants’ books and records.

It is evident from this summary that the rules related to the claiming of PSB rebates are quite complex. Organizations should review the rules carefully and should feel free to contact one of Miller Thomson’s Commodity Tax specialists with any questions.