Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario and British Columbia

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) goes into effect on July 1, 2010 administered by the Canada Revenue Agency for the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. This will have an effect on the amount paid for consumer goods.  In Ontario there will be an additional provincial portion of 8% will be added to some consumer products and services.

Ontario
About 83% consumer products and services will see no new tax.  Here's the breakdown.  Products that already have PST and GST (eg. phone services, cable, new cars) added will have no new tax.  Instead 13% in taxes to two different governments (8% provincial and 5% federal), there will be one tax — still 13%, collected by the federal government.  There is the GST/HST tax credit for individuals and new housing HST rebates.

Items that currently have no sales tax will have no HST.  This includes:

  • basic groceries
  • municipal transit
  • prescription drugs
  • most health, medical and dental services
  • visiting the doctor or dentist
  • certain medical devices (hearing aids; prescription eyewear; canes, wheelchairs, walkers)
  • legal aid services
  • most financial services
  • many educational services
  • insurance premiums
  • resale housing
  •  
At the point of sale the provincial portion (8%) of the HST is discounted.  You pay only the 5% federal portion (5%) on these items: 
  • print newspapers
  • books (including audio books)
  • diapers
  • children's clothing/footwear
  • children's car seats and booster seats
  • feminine hygiene products
  • qualifying prepared food/beverages sold for $4.00 or less.   
Seventeen percent of consumer products and services will see a new tax, the 8 per cent provincial portion of the HST.  Included in this category are: 
  • personal and professional services (eg. hairstyling, legal fees)
  • energy costs (eg. home heating fuel, electricity)

British Columbia
On July 1st the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) will be eliminated while a 7 % rate will be added to the 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) forming a combined HST of 12%.  The majority of consumer products and services will see no new taxes including energy costs (eg. home heating fuel, electricity).  Many items will be HST exempt.  British Columbians will receive the BC HST Credit and there is are new housing HST rebates. 


At the point of sale the provincial portion (7%) of the HST is discounted.  You pay only the 5% federal portion on these items:
  • fuel to power your vehicle (gasoline, ethanol blends, diesel, biodiesel)
  • books
  • child-sized clothing/footwear
  • children’s car seats and car booster seats
  • children’s diapers
  • feminine hygiene products
Items that are currently GST exempt will be HST excempt as well.  These items include: 
  • basic groceries
  • most health, medical and dental services
  • visiting the doctor or dentist
  • certain medical devices (hearing aids; prescription eyewear; canes, wheelchairs, walkers)
  • prescription drugs
  • legal aid services
  • most financial services
  • many educational services
  • insurance premiums
  • resale housing


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