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O Canada! GST, HST, GIFI and other three- and four-letter words related to Canadian taxes

March 5, 2020 | Kerry (Rosvold) Peters

If your company is not based in the United States (or even if they are!) there are business mysteries behind banking and taxation that don’t exist in many other places and sometimes don’t seem to make a lot of sense. A lot of those requirements originate from state and federal level regulations. This blog series will uncover what those mysteries are and how to understand them as systems that can be easily managed with Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Canada uses a different system of taxation called the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is maintained at the Federal level. This tax applies 5% on most Canadian goods and services. This regulation was intended to streamline the Canadian tax system, but not all provinces complied, and some still require Provincial Sales Tax (PST) returns to be filed. In addition to this, there is the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) which is used by provinces that did combine their provincial level taxes with the federal level taxes. Just like in the US, there can also be product-level tax exemptions related to both GST and PST, and company level exemptions for charities, nonprofits, schools, and government entities.

The Canada Revenue Agency assigns a set of codes to track all the necessary information. These codes, called the General Index of Financial Information (GIFI) are assigned at the level of the general ledger account, and the data follows along with the financial reporting.

Using software like Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central can help with tracking all these rules. These are our recommended best practices for using this software to collect and remit tax correctly.

  1. Define GIFI Codes at the general ledger account level.
  2. Use the Item Card to store the correct item’s Tax Group. This will ensure products are identified at the correct level of taxation.
  3. Lean heavily on the configuration of Tax Jurisdictions and Tax Areas to organize the correct combinations of Provinces and taxing authority for calculation of the overall total amount of tax to be collected, as well as for the correct separate amounts to be remitted to each entity.
  4. Understand the Tax Details area. This is the place where the correct rates are listed and is the most frequently updated area when rates change.

If you’d like some help with de-mystifying business processes and correct system setup related to US-based accounting practices, please get in contact with us to discuss how New View Strategies can help. We have specialists with deep accounting expertise in using Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central who can move quickly through the requirements for your company and establish clear and accurate processes to manage these complex business needs. 

Looking for more topics related to US-based accounting? Check out the rest of our related blogs at the links below.

Why is the U.S. still using paper checks and what to do about it (Part 1 of 3)

Why is the U.S. still using paper checks and what to do about it (Part 2 of 3)

Why is the U.S. still using paper checks and what to do about it (Part 3 of 3)

The good, the bad, and the ugly side of US bank reconciliations

Pay me now or pay me later: managing 1099s throughout the year

What’s wrong with U.S. sales tax and how to make it right with your ERP system

What is South Dakota vs. Wayfair and why should companies who sell online care?

O Canada! GST, HST, GIFI and other three- and four-letter words related to Canadian taxes

 

 

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The experts at New View Strategies are experienced Dynamics NAV and Business Central trainers and business process consultants who have walked in your shoes as former Corporate Controllers, Directors of IT, and Solution Architects, and believe increased utilization of your business systems is critical to the continued success of your company.
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