It’s official: You’re your own boss. This is where it starts to get real because with great power comes GST/HST (Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax). Now that you’re in charge, you’re responsible for collecting GST/HST for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and for filing HST returns.
GST/HST is already calculated in the fares your passengers pay, so it won’t impact your earnings. Also, when you register for GST/HST, you can claim some of it back when you file your taxes.
If you’ve had experience running a business in Canada, this probably sounds familiar, and you may already have an GST/HST registration number. However, if this is your first time earning on your terms, read on and we’ll talk you through how this impacts you and what you need to do.
- GST/HST benefits for Lyft drivers
- Your Driver Dashboard Ride earnings statement
- CRA requirements for drivers
- Frequently asked questions
When you register for GST/HST, you should be eligible to claim input tax credits on some expenses incurred as a Lyft driver. Claiming input tax credits means asking the CRA to refund you for the GST/HST you’ve paid on eligible goods and services during the tax year.
So when you pay GST/HST on some things you would’ve normally paid for as a car owner anyway — like gas, car repairs, and car washes — you may be able to claim some GST/HST back in the form of a tax credit. Of course, some restrictions do apply.
Pro tip: A tax professional can help you understand which things are eligible for input tax credits and what documentation you need to support an input tax credit claim.
You’ll see the following sections on your Lyft ride earnings statement.
Ride Earnings: This is how much you earn from the Lyft rides you give. This is based on the time and distance of each ride.
Tips: This is 100% of all the tips you earn and you get to keep it all.
GST/HST Collected: This is the amount you need to save for the CRA. Passengers pay this GST/HST for the service you provide them.
GST/HST on Lyft & 3rd Party Fees: You pay this GST/HST for the service Lyft provides you, i.e. Lyft fees, and it also represents GST/HST on third-party fees, such as tolls. Lyft fees reflect the commission Lyft takes from total ride earnings to continue to provide a great platform and keep the community growing. The GST/HST is calculated on the Lyft fees and third party fees you pay to Lyft. When you're registered for GST/HST, you can claim this amount as an input tax credit.
GST/HST on Bonuses:Lyft pays this GST/HST to you because GST/HST is also due on bonus payments. You'll need to save this GST/HST for the CRA as well.
Bonuses: We offer different bonuses and incentives for our drivers. When you successfully meet bonus requirements, you’ll see the additional earnings here.
The GST/HST Collected and GST/HST on Bonuses can be viewed in Lyft ride earnings statements.
The CRA requires all rideshare drivers to:
Here are these requirements step-by-step.
Registering for the GST/HST is mandatory for Lyft drivers. The CRA requires drivers to apply for registration within 30 days of giving your first ride. Your registration effective date should be on or before your first ride. (The CRA is OK with you driving for Lyft as soon as you’re approved, but if you forget to apply for registration within this time they won’t be happy.)
If you’ve already registered for GST/HST, you’ll just need to add your GST/HST registration number to your Driver Dashboard in the Lyft Driver app.
To register for GST online, visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s site: cra.gc.ca/bro.
This site will give you a unique business number that you’ll need to use to register for the GST/HST. When you complete your GST/HST registration, you’ll get an GST/HST registration number. You’ll need to add this GST/HST registration number to the Driver Dashboard in your Lyft Driver app.
If you have questions on completing GST/HST registration, please contact a tax professional.
This is the easy part. Passengers pay the GST/HST you need to collect as part of their fare. You’ll also need to collect the GST/HST paid on bonuses. We show you the GST/HST collected in your Lyft ride earnings statements — the key thing you need to do is keep that money safe so you have it ready for the CRA when you file your GST/HST return.
Pro tip: Many small business owners create a separate bank account for GST/HST collected so they don’t accidentally spend money that is owing to the CRA.
Reporting the GST/HST means filing an GST/HST return.
You’ll need to calculate your net tax before you file an GST/HST return. Your net tax is the difference, including any adjustments, between the amount of GST/HST you collect and the amount of GST/HST you’ve paid.
The amount of GST/HST you collected is easy to find — just check either your monthly, quarterly, or annual Lyft ride earnings statement and look for the sections ‘GST/HST Collected’ and ‘GST/HST on Bonuses.’ Add these two figures together and you’ll have the total amount of GST/HST collected for your Lyft activities.
The amount of GST/HST you paid to Lyft will also be on your your monthly, quarterly, or annual Lyft ride earnings statement — just look for the section ‘GST/HST on Lyft Fees.’ You can find the GST/HST you’ve paid for other goods and services on the receipts and documents you’ve been collecting to claim eligible input tax credit.
Once you know your net tax, you’re ready to file your GST/HST return. You can file your GST/HST return online with the CRA. You may also be able to file your return on paper.
Remember, everyone’s tax situation is different, so a tax professional can help you find the best way to file your GST/HST returns.
Pro tip: You’ll need to keep a record of all the GST/HST you’ve paid, so consider speaking with a tax professional to learn what may work best for you. Recording GST/HST you’ve paid on a regular basis can save you a major headache when your GST/HST return is due.
More simply put: pay the net GST/HST due to the CRA. There are three ways you can pay the CRA:
- At your Canadian financial institution
- Physical mail or post
Usually GST/HST payments are due at the same time as your GST/HST return — either monthly, quarterly, or annually. The payment deadline depends on your GST/HST filing period.
A tax professional can help you figure out how often you need to file your GST/HST returns, and they can even file your GST/HST returns for you.
Here are some common questions about GST, HST, and CRA for drivers with Lyft.
- What info will I need to register for GST/HST?
- What steps do I need to follow to register for the GST/HST online?
- Why does the GST/HST amount on my ride earnings statements look different from other ridesharing companies?
- Where can I go for more help with GST/HST?
- What is Lyft's GST/HST registration number, and why is it important?
Before you go online to register for the GST/HST, you’ll need to prepare the following information:
- Your full legal name
- Your Social Insurance Number
- Your telephone number
- Your fax number (if you have one)
- Your mailing address
- A description of your business activities (that is, ridesharing services)
- Estimated ride earnings (the form will ask you for estimated sales)
- Effective date for your GST/HST registration (that is, on or before your first ride, but drivers can apply for registration within 30 days of giving their first ride)
- Your GST/HST return filing frequency (that is, monthly, quarterly, or annually)
Please see How to register for GST/HST.
Why does the GST/HST amount on my ride earnings statements look different from other ridesharing companies?
Lyft withholds the GST/HST drivers pay for the service Lyft provides them. Other ridesharing companies may pass that money on to drivers up front, but drivers must pay it back to the CRA when they submit their taxes.
Additional information can also be found on the CRA's website or by contacting the Canada Revenue Agency at 1 (800) 959-5525.
Every driver is unique. Every driver’s specific tax circumstances are also unique, so the information on this page may not cover your tax needs. Unfortunately, Lyft can’t provide you with tax advice, so speaking with a tax professional can be a great way to get help and advice for your specific circumstances.
Lyft's GST/HST registration number is 70664 7328 RT0001.
You'll need Lyft's GST/HST registration number to claim input tax credits (so you can get back the GST/HST that Lyft charges you on the Lyft Fee and other service fees).