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File sales tax in QuickBooks Online

by Intuit Updated 5 days ago


Filing sales tax is a four-part process:

  1. Prepare your sales tax return in QuickBooks Online.
  2. Submit your return to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
  3. Close your filing period in QuickBooks Online.
  4. Record your payment to or refund from the CRA.

In this article, you'll learn how to:

Tip: Our in-product QuickBooks Digital Assistant can walk you through the process of filing taxes. Simply open the Digital Assistant, type "tax help", and follow the instructions. Get started now.


Step 1: Prepare your return

  1. Go to Taxes and select Sales tax (Take me there).

    Note: If you use Payroll in QuickBooks Online, you may need to select Sales Tax instead of Payroll Tax.
  2. ​Below Sales Tax, find the tax agency associated with the return you'd like to prepare it for.
  3. On the Filings tab, select Prepare return beside the next return you need to file.
  4. Check the dates populated in the Start date and End date fields.

    Note: QuickBooks Online automatically adds the dates of your most recent sales tax period, based on the payment schedule for the CRA. If necessary, you can change them, but remember that your payment schedule is set by the CRA. You can't change the dates for your own requirements.
  5. Review the lines of the sales tax return, with the balance owing (or refund due) at the bottom.
  6. To see individual transactions, select the dollar amount.
  7. To make an adjustment to a line on the sales tax return, select Adjust.


Step 2: Submit your sales tax return online with the CRA

Note: When your return is marked as filed, an automated Journal Entry will be created for the GST amount owed for the period. The date of the Journal Entry will be recorded as the end date of the filing period.

File your GST/HST return with the CRA

  1. If you are filing your GST/HST Return via the GST/HST Netfile website, you will need to have your 4-digit access code.  The access code is printed on the electronic filing information sheet (Form GST34-3) or the personalized return (Form GST34-2) you received in the mail.  You can bypass using the access code by filing your return through the CRA My Business Account portal or accountants can use the Represent a Client portal if they have authorization.  The next steps are for filing with the GST/HST Netfile website.
  2. In a different window, go to the CRA website listed on the form you received with your 4-digit access code.
  3. Enter your User ID and password.
  4. Select Submit a return.
  5. Select the period for which you want to file.
  6. Copy the amounts from your QuickBooks Online return and paste them into your sales tax return in the CRA window.
  7. After you complete and submit the online return, close the CRA window and go back to QuickBooks Online.

File your GST/HST and QST returns with Revenu Québec

  1. In a different window, navigate to the Revenu Québec website.
  2. Use the clicSÉQUR service and your clicSÉQUR access code that you received in the mail to complete and submit your online return.


Step 3: Close your sales tax period in QuickBooks Online

Important: This step closes your books in QuickBooks Online for this filing period. Once completed, you can no longer add or edit transactions for this period.

  1. On the Prepare Sales Tax return page, we recommend printing a copy of the QuickBooks sales tax return for your own records, then selecting Mark as filed.
  2. Select Continue.
  3. QuickBooks Online creates a bill for the amount owing to the CRA. The bill is created as a payable in your Chart of Accounts, so it won't appear in the Enter Bills window.


Step 4: Record a payment to or refund from the CRA

Note: Your payment to the CRA must be made outside of QuickBooks Online and cannot be done by QuickBooks Online. This section is intended exclusively to provide instructions for recording the payment or refund you have made directly to the CRA (via CRA's My Payments, cheque, online banking bill payment, etc.).

  1. In Sales Tax, return to the Filings tab and select Filed from the All returns drop-down.
  2. Select Record payment from the drop-down menu in the Action column if recording a payment to the CRA. Select Record refund if recording a refund from the CRA.

    Tip: Select Payment if the number is positive, and Refund if the number is negative.
  3. Select the appropriate Payment type.
  4. Enter the Payment date, or the date on which you paid the CRA or Revenu Québec.
  5. Optional: Use the Memo field to include anything you want to remember about this payment or refund.
  6. Once you make the payment, you'll see it in your Account History under the date you recorded the payment.


Frequently asked questions

Why is the wrong filing period showing when I attempt to file my sales taxes?

Select File return and correct the beginning and ending dates of the filing period you wish to use.


Can I view previously filed sales taxes?

Yes. Select Taxes in the left navigator bar, then select Filed and paid from the drop-down menu in the Filings tab.


When attempting to file sales taxes for a previous period, I receive an error message and my filing status doesn’t change.

If you have already closed your books for the filing period you have indicated, that will prevent you from making changes. You will need to reopen your books, then file the sales taxes for that period.

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