GST/HST rate cut comes during retailers' busiest season



    OTTAWA, Nov. 30 /CNW/ - The implementation of the one-percentage point
cut in the GST/HST should not cause holiday shoppers any problem when buying
or exchanging gifts, even though businesses will be dealing with the rate cut
during their busiest season.
    The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is reminding its
105,000 members that they will have to adjust their sales, billing, accounting
and purchasing processes to accommodate the rate cut, or face penalties.
    "The GST/HST cut is great, but many businesses must take time out of
their craziest season to think about and implement the rate reduction," said
Garth Whyte, executive vice-president of CFIB.
    "For retailers, it's their busiest shopping season. For other businesses,
it's end-of-year inventory. No matter who you are, it's hectic."
    When the GST/HST rate was initially cut by one percentage point in July
2006, surveys by CFIB of its members before and after the rate reduction
showed the majority of businesses handled the transition smoothly.
    "Our research suggests that our members will have these changes well in
hand," said Whyte.
    CFIB has made an updated version of its GST/HST Checklist for business,
prepared together with the Canada Revenue Agency, available at www.cfib.ca.
    The federal government announced in October 2007 that the GST would be
cut from 6 to 5 per cent starting Jan. 1, 2008, while the HST rate in Nova
Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador will fall from 14 to 13
per cent.





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For further information: Anne Howland, (613) 235-2373


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