If you’re selling digital services and products to customers in Quebec, then you might be liable for Quebec’s Sales Tax (QST). This guide covers two very important parts of the system:
- Registering for the tax, and then
- Filing tax returns on time.
We’ve scoured the Revenu Quebec website to provide you with all the necessary information about QST for international businesses in one place.
How to register for QST in Quebec
Quebec offers a simplified online QST registration for all businesses, or “suppliers”, that aren’t physically located in the province.
However, there’s still the option to register the normal (old-fashioned) way, as long as your business is already registered in one of Canada’s other tax systems: Canadian Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
Each route has its pros (+) and cons (-).
Simplified QST registration
- You cannot claim any QST refunds
+ You don’t need to have a Canadian bank account
+ You can pay in US Dollars or Euro, in addition to Canadian Dollars
Normal QST registration
+ You can claim QST refunds if you pay any input tax in Quebec
- You must also register for GST/HST
- You must have a Canadian bank account
- You can only pay in Canadian Dollars
If you’re located outside of Canada, we recommend going with the simplified version, and that’s what we’ll cover in this guide.
Note: If you want to be really sure that you must register for simplified QST, feel free to take Revenu Quebec’s interactive questionnaire. It’s only 8 questions!
Now, on to the action. It’s a two-step process. First you must create your login credentials on My Account. (This portal is where you’ll file and pay the tax returns. More on that later!) Create a user code with a password here.
When you’re logged in, you can register for QST! Simply follow instructions in the portal.
After your application is reviewed and approved, you should receive a QST registration number that begins with the letters “NR”, followed by 8 digits. This is a unique identifier they’ll use to identify you in the system, and which you’ll need to put on invoices, etc.
The website doesn’t state how long you should expect to wait, but if you have any questions, you can email them at contact-NR@revenuquebec.c
How to file QST returns in Quebec
You can remit Quebec’s Sales Tax in three different currencies: the Canadian Dollar (CAD), the US Dollar, or the Euro.
If you’re using a currency other than those above, then you must choose a conversion method that is (a) approved by Quebec’s Ministry of Finance ahead of time, and (b) that you’ll stick with systematically for at least 24 months. This is according to Quebec’s Bill 13.
When to file and pay
You must file a QST return every quarter. Your first reporting period begins on your registration date and ends on the last day of that quarter.
The deadline to file and pay is the last day of the month following the quarter.
- 30 April, for first quarter ending 31 March
- 31 July, for second quarter ending 30 June
- 31 October, for third quarter ending 30 September
- 31 January, for fourth quarter ending 31 December
Note: You must still file every quarter even if you made no sales in Quebec! This is typically called a “Nil declaration” and it follows the exact same process as a normal return. (Just a little less data entry 😉)
How to file
Before you get started, you should collect all the information about your taxable sales in Quebec during the previous quarter. The tax website suggests having these pieces ready:
- total sales and income
- total purchases and expenses
You can file online in My Account. You can log in here.
Revenu Quebec will send you a “receipt” to confirm that your return has been filed!
How to pay
When it comes to payment, you can wire transfer the amount you owe in three different currencies: CAD, US dollars, or the Euro.
Payment instructions will appear in the confirmation receipt after you file. The instructions include banking information and a unique payment code for each return.
What to do in between registering and filing?
Well, you must comply with all the rules for Quebec QST! That means charging a very specific 9.975% QST on all B2C sales in the country, among other things.
For further reading that will help you stay compliant and successful as a remote seller, check out our Quebec QST Guide for Businesses.