Clear Sky Chart FAQ Infrequently Asked Question

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What's all this GST/HST stuff you keep going on about?

It's a tax. A Canadian Tax.


Under Canadian tax rules, does not qualify as a charity. So even though people voluntarily send me donations and sponsorships, I must pay income tax on them. Actually, I don't mind paying income tax. Most of the data I use comes free from the Canadian Meteorological Centre which is supported by taxes.

The worst part:

The worst is GST/HST. It's sales tax. The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) has deemed that when I accept a donation, I've actually received payment for a service. CRA's technical term is a "supply". They then require me to collect a Goods and Services Tax or Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST). (Which one I must pay is based on yet more rules I'm too flustered to explain.)

Canadians are used to this, though it's been called the "most hated tax".

The amount of bookkeeping and record keeping I have to do to pay taxes is getting to be more work that maintaining the charts, generating them, keeping the servers reliable and answering emails. Yeesh!

What has this got to do with me? I'm not Canadian!

I'm not surprised if this is annoying my USA friends. (Who provide the bulk of support to the clear sky charts.)

CRA requires me to asses GST/HST on donations from everyone, even Americans. Most of the time the tax rate rate is zero. But there is a bizarre case where CRA requires me to charge 13% even from a non Canadian. That is when a non-Canadian has what is called a "GST/HST registration" which means they themselves collect GST/HST from when the get money from Canadians. I'm not convinced it's even possible for a USA individual would have a GST/HST registration. But a club or company might ... conceivably ... if they sell things to Canadians.

This why I have a separate paypal "donate" for non-Canadians which requires people to check one of two boxes about having a GST/HST registration or not.

I expect asking that question sounds like complete nonsense. But I am required to ask. But if you don't know what a "GST Registration" is, the answer is "No".

I apologize for the Canadian Government for this silly rule.

On the plus side, I have deemed all sponsorships donations to have "GST/HST included" so donors need not worry about it.


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Many thanks to all sponsors, and especially to the patient ones.

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