HST Calculator | Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) | Sales Tax Information

4 min readJul 27



In Canada, the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) plays a significant role in the country’s taxation system. The HST combines both the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) into a single tax, simplifying the tax collection process for businesses and consumers alike. This article aims to provide a detailed overview of HST, explain how it affects businesses and individuals, and introduce the HST calculator — a useful tool for calculating tax amounts.

What is HST?

The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is a value-added tax that combines the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) into a single tax. The HST is applicable in provinces that have harmonized their provincial sales tax with the federal GST. Currently, five provinces in Canada have implemented the HST system: Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.

The History of HST in Canada

The idea of harmonizing the federal GST and provincial sales taxes dates back to the early 1990s. The implementation of HST aimed to streamline the tax system, reduce compliance costs for businesses, and create a more efficient tax structure.

Understanding HST Rates

HST rates vary depending on the province in which a taxable transaction occurs. The federal portion of the HST is set by the Canadian government, while the provincial portion is determined by each participating province.

HST Calculator: What is it and How to Use it?

An HST calculator is a helpful tool that simplifies the process of calculating HST amounts for transactions. It takes into account both the federal and provincial components to provide accurate results.

Benefits of Using an HST Calculator

Using an HST calculator saves time and reduces the risk of errors in tax calculations. Businesses and individuals can ensure they charge or pay the correct amount of HST.

How to Choose the Right HST Calculator

When selecting an HST calculator, factors such as accuracy, user-friendliness, and additional features should be considered to find the most suitable tool.

The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is a consumption tax in Canada that combines the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the provincial sales tax into a single, unified tax. The HST is levied in provinces that have chosen to adopt it, which includes Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the HST Calculator in Canada, explaining its significance, usage, and how it affects consumers and businesses.

HST Calculator: Definition and Purpose

The HST Calculator is an online tool provided by the CRA that enables individuals and businesses to calculate the amount of HST they need to pay or can claim as input tax credits (ITCs). It helps consumers determine the total cost of a purchase, including the applicable HST, while businesses can use it to accurately calculate the HST they need to remit to the government or claim as credits on their expenses.

  1. How to Use the HST Calculator

Using the HST Calculator is a straightforward process. Individuals or businesses can access it through the CRA’s official website or through various tax preparation software used by professionals. To calculate the HST, follow these steps:

Step 1: Access the HST Calculator Visit the CRA’s website or open the tax preparation software that includes the HST Calculator tool.

Step 2: Select Province Choose the relevant province from the drop-down menu. The provincial tax rate will be automatically applied.

Step 3: Input the Amount Enter the pre-tax amount of the purchase or expense you wish to calculate the HST on.

Step 4: Calculate Click on the “Calculate” button, and the HST amount will be displayed.

  1. HST for Businesses

For businesses, the HST Calculator is a crucial tool for managing their finances and tax compliance. Companies registered for the HST must charge and collect HST on taxable goods and services they sell. At the same time, they can claim input tax credits on the HST paid on their business expenses, reducing the overall tax liability.

  1. HST for Consumers

Consumers encounter the HST when making purchases of taxable goods and services. The HST is usually included in the price displayed on products or services. For example, if a product costs $100, and the HST rate is 13% (Ontario’s HST rate as of the knowledge cutoff date), the total cost including HST would be $113.

  1. HST Rebates and Exemptions

Certain products and services are exempt from the HST, such as basic groceries, prescription drugs, and certain medical services. Additionally, some provinces provide HST rebates to low-income individuals and families to help offset the impact of the tax.

  1. Importance of the HST Calculator

The HST Calculator simplifies the process of calculating taxes for both businesses and consumers. For businesses, it ensures accurate tax remittance and helps optimize their cash flow by claiming eligible input tax credits. Consumers can quickly determine the total cost of a purchase and avoid any potential miscalculations.

The HST Calculator plays a vital role in Canada’s tax system by simplifying the calculation of the Harmonized Sales Tax. It benefits both businesses and consumers by providing a convenient and accurate way to determine the HST amount on purchases or expenses. As tax regulations may evolve, it is essential to stay updated with the latest information provided by the Canada Revenue Agency to ensure proper compliance with the HST requirements.


The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is an integral part of Canada’s taxation system. Understanding its complexities and implications is crucial for businesses and individuals alike. Utilizing an HST calculator can streamline tax calculations and ensure compliance with tax regulations.




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