Thank You Canada for Giving Me Back My Money

I love this time of year. Well, not really. It’s gloomy outside, not to mention bone chillingly cold, and I just can’t seem to find the right cocktail of DayQuil, Cold FX and Vitamin C to rid me of this sore throat and runny nose.

But besides all that, you can always count on January to be good for at least one thing. That’s right, it’s GST/HST rebate cheque time! Thank you Canada! It’s funny, for all of these years I’ve never actually looked into what these cheques were all about.

Maybe it’s because I love to be surprised when they come in, or just thinking about taxes makes me want to take a stress nap, but this year I’m turning a new leaf. So here are some fun facts I’ve discovered about this so-called “free money”:

-It ain’t free babe. Nothing in life is, besides the bathroom at the public library. You’re getting this money because the Government of Canada taxed you too much money based on your income. Sure, you may find this fancy statement on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website to confuse you:

“The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low or modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay.”

But just because it sounds like these rebates are being given out because the Canadian Government is good people, they are really just giving you back money that was yours in the first place.

-You can expect a GST/HST rebate cheque every January, April, July, and October. Cheques are sent out the 5th day of each of these months.

-If you don’t get a cheque in any of these months, give the CRA a call at 1-800-959-1953. This happened to me this past summer. Apparently, I checked some wrong box somewhere on my tax forms. Side note, every single person I’ve encountered from the CRA has been the nicest person ever. No joke, this one guy I met was the splitting image of Mr. Rogers and even wore the same grandpa sweaters.

-You can set up a direct deposit instead of waiting several weeks for the cheque in the mail via this site.

-You’ve got to be at least 19 years old and a resident of Canada (obvious I know, but whatever).

-Lastly, if you need a place to vent after a hard day, just check out the HST in Canada website’s comment section. All I’m going to say is ME-OW.

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