Upwork collects Goods and Services Tax (GST) on purchases and fees from clients in Canada, as required by law.
Canada’s GST is a value-added tax, a type of sales tax. The Canadian government assesses GST of 5% on digital services, including those provided by Upwork. Provinces assess a similar tax — because of this, overall GST/HST rates vary by province (see “Taxes by Province” below).
The good news is you can control whether we collect the GST from you (PST in BC, SK, MB will apply to all users in those provinces without exception). If you have a GST/HST or QST number and have it on file with us, we are not required to collect the tax from you. To add your Tax ID, go here.
If you don’t have a GST/HST number, we will assess the tax on the following:
- Marketplace fees
- Contract initiation fees
- Any payment processing fees
- Membership fees
- Enterprise fees
- The cost of a Featured Job (tax will be applied to the cost of post, which is currently $29.99)
- The Upwork Conversion fee (this is the fee you pay if you move a relationship off of Upwork)
Upwork will not collect any GST on the rates you agreed to pay your freelancer. For example, if you pay a freelancer $200 for a fixed-price contract, Upwork will not assess any GST on the $200. If your freelancer is required to collect GST/HST or QST from their clients, it is their responsibility to do so.
Taxes by Province
Your precise tax burden under the new law will vary depending on your location when Upwork provides services to you.
These taxes are levied both at the national and provincial level. Because each province’s laws are different, your tax will fall into one of these four categories:
- GST only
- Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) — Both national and provincial taxes are combined into a single tax which is then collected by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
- GST plus provincial sales taxes (PST) — Each collected separately by the appropriate government body
- GST plus Quebec Sales Tax (QST) — Each collected separately by the appropriate government body
The chart below shows which combination of national and provincial taxes are collected on a per-province basis.
|Province||Type||Nat’l. rate||Prov. rate||Total Tax Rate|
When collection starts, you will be assessed the appropriate GST on fees for services provided by Upwork.
We will use the regular 5% marketplace fee as an example. If a freelancer charges you $100, we will charge you 5%, $5 in this example. Under Canadian law, GST is applied to that $5 fee. Here’s how that breaks down by province:
- GST only — $0.25 in taxes will be collected from you for that transaction
- HST — Between $0.65 and $0.75 will be collected
- GST + PST — $0.25 for GST, between $0.30 and $0.50 for PST
- GST + QST — $0.25 for GST, $0.50 for QST
Entering your GST/HST or QST Number
Upwork is required to collect Canadian GST and provincially equivalent taxes when our digital services are delivered to consumers. If you have a GST/HST and/or a QST number, you are not considered to be a consumer and therefore are not required to pay these taxes.
If your GST/HST or QST Number is not on file with us,, we are required to collect these taxes from you. If you add your number at a later date, we will stop collecting these taxes at that time. GST/HST and QST validation can take several days — if entering your number after collection has already begun, we cannot stop collecting until verification is confirmed.
The validation process requires that the taxpayer name entered in the Company Details section of your profile (found under the My Info tab) matches the name attached to your GST/HST or QST number.
To file your GST/HST or QST number with us, go here.
Frequently Asked Questions
PST in British Columbia and Sasketchwan will apply to all transactions because there are currently no such exemptions in those provinces. Manitoba’s PST law goes into effect in December 2021 and may not apply without exception.
Any time you move to a different country, even if temporarily, you should update your tax residency information on Upwork. For example, if you move to and work from South Africa, you may be entirely subject to South African laws. If you then move to Canada, you should update your Upwork address and Canadian GST will be assessed accordingly. Please consult a tax professional if you have questions as to whether and how the GST applies to you and your business.
Please note that all value-added tax we collect is remitted directly to the government. We cannot refund taxes that we collected from you before you added your number.