CRA indicates that a GST/HST backdated election generally is permitted if the parties have been treating one as in place

Joint venture participants, who had not made a joint venture election, purchased real estate collectively through a representative who was registered for GST/HST purposes. No s. 273 joint venture election was made. The vendor did not collect GST/HST on the sale in reliance on s. 221(2) but, as it emerged, one of the purchasers was not registered.

CRA responded that, given that purchaser’s non-registration, s. 221(1) imposed liability on the vendor, but “That said, the minister may consider assessing the purchaser under paragraph 296(1)(b) where warranted.” An issue not discussed by CRA is that s. 278(2) would preclude it from collecting on any such assessment.

Respecting the absent JV election, CRA stated:

Generally, if the conditions of the … Election … have been met, and the parties have treated their transactions as if the election had been valid … and the parties are otherwise compliant with the CRA, Audit will allow this election to be backdated.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of May 2019 CPA Alberta CRA Roundtable, GST Session – Q.18 under ETA s. 221(2) and 273(4).