Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Revenue Canada Federal Business Number

Well I have now made my first “big” mistake. By not obtaining my Business Number sooner I may have missed the opportunity to claim the GST rebate on some of the office equipment I have purchased since incorporating. This happened for 2 reasons. Firstly I assumed (we all know what that means) that I would get an information package from the governments in a timely fashion telling me to apply for my Business Number. Secondly, I did not know that you could only “back date” your registration a maximum of 30 days from when you actually apply and you need to have the Business Number to be able to claim the GST. I guess it’s not so bad if I miss the date because I did get 20% off on my computer and printer purchase versus the 5% GST, still 5% is 5%.

Now to the mechanics of the process. I initially tried to “self register” using the government’s web site at the following URL but after I had filled in all the forms I was informed that the maximum number of submittals had been reached and to phone 800 959-5525. When you call this number you get the “automated attendant” and can quickly fall into the no escape spiral, however as I accidentally discovered if you press the * key on your telephone you get redirected to a live person. Better yet, they aspire to answer within 2 minutes and in fact did so – our government at your service. Though the web application did not work for me it was worth doing since it prepared me for all the questions the Revenue Canada person asked. If on the other hand you want or need to back date your application, I think the phone in option is the better choice and it only takes a few minutes.

What information do you need to have on hand when making this application?
  • Corporate Access Number – this is the number that you received when you incorporated at the Alberta Registry
  • Social Insurance Number for all company directors so that Revenue Canada has a way to link your company with whom its owners are.
  • Address/place of business so Revenue
  • What types of accounts you will require:
  • Corporate Income Tax account (mandatory)
  • GST/HST account
  • Payroll Account
  • Import/Export account – if you manufacture goods.
  • Estimate of revenues for the year as this will determine the frequency at which you need to make your GST/HST statements/deposits.
  • Payroll frequency as this determines what set of tax tables will be used

With all this information in hand and Revenue Canada will then give you a 9 digit Business Number and an additional number for each of the types of accounts you requested from above; RCnnn for Corporate Taxes, RTnnn for GST, and RPnnn for Payroll submissions. You can also decide if you want to have your business year and taxes years coincide, or follow the calendar year (like your personal taxes). My suggestion is keep it the same as you business year (in my case August 1 – July 31) so you do not have to go through the whole year-end process more than once.

And that’s it. Now all I have to do is start keeping all the accounting records so I can accurately report this information and most importantly see how my business is doing.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

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