Request: Add Canadian GST/HST (VAT) to Manager

Would it be possible to add the Candian VAT (called either the GST or HST depending on region) to Manager?

This is the link to the Canadian governments rate tables (which rate applies in which province):

The summary of the rates are:
AB - Alberta - 5%
BC - British Columbia - 5%
MB - Manitoba - 5%
NT - Northwest Territories - 5%
NU - Nunavut - 5%
QC - Quebec - 5%
SK - Saskatchewan - 5%
YT - Yukon - 5%
ON - Ontario - 13%
NB - New Brunswick - 15%
NL - Newfoundland and Labrador - 15%
NS - Nova Scotia - 15%
PE - Prince Edward Island - 15%

Thank you

The problem with this idea is that Manager allows application of only one tax code to a line item. Some Canadian jurisdictions use the harmonized tax, which consolidates federal and provincial consumption taxes as a single value-added tax. Others maintain separate provincial taxes and GST. So you need to be able to apply multi-component tax codes. In Manager, these are handled through custom tax codes. See these Guides:

For other countries, Manager generally includes in-built codes that apply nationwide. In some cases, this results in several codes to cover categories of goods and services taxable at different rates based on origin, type, destination, etc. So far as I know, only for India’s new tax scheme in 2017 were codes created for different areas within the country, resulting in almost 20 codes. That seemed fairly unworkable.

Complicating things is the fact that many Canadian provinces (as well as the national government) have changed rates fairly frequently over the past decade.

The thinking that has been expressed on the forum by the developer hints at moving away from in-built tax codes. Things seem to just be getting too complex. So I don’t think you’re likely to see 13 different Canadian tax codes created. Imagine how complicated all this gets when you look to the United States: no national consumption based tax code at all; 50 different state rates; some territorial rates; many, many, many different county and municipal rates; and all of them stacked one on top of another. That’s before variations, which Canada has, as well, for customer type, place of delivery, etc.

Why do I even try.

Because you want things to be simpler, as do I. The tax capabilities in Manager were conceived for a national VAT scheme, with offsetting input and output taxes. For that type situation it works well. But when you move to other systems and varying rates with time/customer/place, things rapidly get more complex. Various add-on capabilities have been included, but they are not smooth in some cases. Eventually, the entire tax structure is going to need to go through a major improvement, in my opinion.

I find your argument that the nationally adminstered VAT system (called in some jurisdictions GST, in others HST), with its offsetting input/output taxes is too compliaged unconvincing. There are three VAT codes, but it’s just different percentages (based on region, but this is/should be transparent to Manager) for the “same tax” remitted to the same agency.

  1. Canada - GST 5%
  2. Canada - HST 13%
  3. Canada - HST 15%

How hard is that?

If @lubos doesn’t want to have built-in country tax codes because it will create a maintenance nightmare (which I would agree with, it is a nightmare) that’s fine. In that case I need a different feature: the ability to create a multi-percentage custom tax code in which I can choose an ‘expense’ account, not just a ‘liabilities’ account in the drop down (ie: HST Payable, HST Expense). Something like this:

But I cannot, because this is not supported.

Obviously, it’s simpler than the 13 codes you originally suggested. But all my comments about things getting complex are still applicable. Remember that any time a province changes its rate, you need an entirely new tax code and cannot get rid of the old one, because that changes every past transaction that used it. Historically, that’s happened fairly frequently in Canada. And you also encounter differences based on customer type and place of delivery, so you might still need custom codes.

I honestly don’t know why @lubos has decided not to provide built-in tax codes for Canada. But I do know he has acknowledged the need for some wider-ranging improvements to the tax features of the program to handle the ever-increasing difficulties of handling all the strange schemes governments are thinking up: cascading taxes, multi-tier withholding at the source, multi-component taxes that need individual elements to be selectable, flat rate schemes, and so forth. And every new detail on how tax codes are applied ripples through the various tax reports.

Please don’t think I’m dismissing your concerns. I share them. I’m just offering my impressions about why you might not see improvements in the near term.

Obviously, it’s simpler than the 13 codes you originally suggested.

I was not (at least not trying to) suggesting that be the code list, I was taking the list from the CRA webpage and re-formatting it in a way that was a little bit different. I thought it was clear from the CRAs page it was the same tax, just different percentages. I obviously made a mistake in presenting the information in the form I did, it made it seem more complicated than it really was.

I honestly don’t know why @lubos has decided not to provide built-in tax codes for Canada.

Yes, I had a far more petulant argument about Canada being the only G7/G8 country, one of only two in the G20, the other being Brazil, with a federal VAT to not have built-in tax code support. I did not make it, because it would just been whinging. I would have felt better though …