Contributing Lawyers

Canada

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross

Australia

Andrew Hudson



The HST Deadline is Fast Approaching

I enjoy reading Seth Godin's blog - http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/.  I had to share today's post since the deadline for HST readiness/preparedness is only 24 days away. Goods and services tax (GST)-registered businesses must be ready on July 1, 2010.

Here are two of Seth Godin's "Six Things about deadlines" - http://sethgodin.typepad.com/:

1. People don't like deadlines.  They mean decision, shipping and risk.  They force us to decide.

2. Deadlines work. Products that re about to disappear, auctions that are about to end, tickets that are about to sell out -- they create forward motion.

4.  Deadlines give you the opportunity to beat the rush.

For the remaining 3 things about deadlines, please read Seth Godin's post.

When one talks about the looming HST deadline, I would say - "Six Things about the HST Deadline"

1. Consumers do not like the HST deadline, but it is coming anyway thanks to Premiers McGuinty and Campbell - the deadline is July 1, 2010.  How are your tax dollars being spent? Finding new methods of taxation.

2. This HST deadline means change is coming.  Businesses must spend money to alter their systems and accounting record-keeping in order to ensure compliance with HST.  The deadline is July 1, 2010  - do not put off the expenditure any longer.

3. This HST deadline means that a window of opportunity is closing. The closer you are to the deadline, the less likely you will be able to get the advice you need to meet the deadline - others are beating the rush and the few sales tax advisors in Canada are busy serving other clients.

4. This HST deadline may have a cliff after the deadline.  Many businesses will pay more for their purchases after the HST deadline.  Do not ignore the deadline and find yourself short on cash or financing --- go visit your banker for a line of credit (or increase) before you have financial difficulties.

5. Associate the deadline with punishment by an auditor.  If you do not meet the deadline, the biggest, meanest, more unforgiving Canada Revenue Agency auditor will come and assess you.  He will hold you upside down and shake you until all the money falls out of your pockets.  If you do not want this to happen, act now and get ready for the HST.

6. The HST deadline will follow the G20 meeting in Toronto and occurs on a national holiday in Canada.  Act as if the HST preparation deadline is actually June 25, 2010.  You can control your own actions and succeed in meeting the deadline if Murphy works overtime in June. You will feel like you just ran a marathon or participated in an iron man competition if you cross the finish line early.

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