Our guide to GST in Alberta

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Sales tax is a complicated subject in Canada. There are significant differences from province to province. 

Did you know that three types of sales taxes exist in Canada? Not only that, but provinces that apply Provincial Sales Tax (PST) even refer to it under different names! Instead of PST, it can also be called Retail Sales Tax (RST) or Quebec Sales Tax/tax de vente du Québec (QST/TVQ). It is no wonder why Canadian sales tax is so confusing!

The guide below will help you to understand how Alberta’s sales tax works, how to use our sales tax calculator, about GST/HST credits and what you need to know if you run a business.

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How do you calculate GST in Alberta?

Are you wondering how to add tax in Alberta? Our sales tax calculator is here to help. Select the sales price. It will add tax for you for where you are. Have a price with sales tax already in it? You can also quickly remove them to see the pre-tax amount. 

Different provinces apply taxes at different rates rather than having a single national rate built into prices. This means that some provinces and territories have a sales tax of as little as 5% while others reach 15%. That is a big difference!

What taxes does Alberta apply?

Calculating sales tax in Alberta is easy. Alberta applies 5% GST to most purchases, meaning a 5% total sales tax rate. GST stands for General Sales Tax.

Type of tax

GST

Total tax rate
GST

5%

5%
Sales tax in Alberta

Here is an example of how Alberta applies sales tax:

$100 + 5% GST = $105 total

What sales tax do I charge for out-of-province sales?

The sales tax charged to out-of-province customers depends on where you supply the product or service.

If your customer buys a product or service while physically in your business, apply the appropriate provincial taxes. The calculator above it can help you to calculate Alberta'sGST. If you deliver your product to them in their province or territory, you must charge sales tax based on their provincial taxes.

What taxes do I need to register for in Alberta?

In Alberta most businesses have to register for GST.

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For more information on registering for GST/HST see:

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Note that small businesses that have not exceeded $30,000 over four consecutive calendar quarters are considered small suppliers and may be exempt from registering for GST/HST.

What is the GST/HST tax credit in Alberta?

The GST/HST credit is a quarterly payment given to low and moderate-income individuals to offset the sales taxes they pay. It is paid out four times per year on:

  • January 5th
  • April 5th 
  • July 5th
  • October 5th

This tax-free credit starts at $299. There is an additional credit of $157 if a family’s net income is more than $9,686. After $38,892 net income, the credit is gradually reduced until it disappears.

See the guide below for specifics in Alberta:

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For more information see our guide to sales tax in Canada.