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Sales taxes in Canada

In Canada, three types of sales taxes are levied. These are as follows:

  • Provincial sales taxes (PST), levied by the provinces
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST), a value-added tax levied by the federal government
  • The combined Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), also a value-added tax, a single, blended combination of the PST and GST which is used in Ontario, (formerly) British Columbia, and the Atlantic provinces; New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The HST is collected by the Canada Revenue Agency, which then remits the appropriate amounts to the participating provinces.

Every province except Alberta has implemented either a provincial sales tax or the Harmonized Sales Tax. The federal GST rate is 5 percent, effective January 1, 2008.

The territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut have neither the HST nor territorial sales taxes. Only the GST is collected.

Provincial sales taxes

Separate Provincial Sales Taxes (PST) are collected in the provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec (Quebec Sales Tax or QST). Prince Edward Island switched to a HST on April 1, 2013, the same date that British Columbia reverted to a separate GST/PST after their adoption of a HST in 2010 was rejected in a referendum. Goods to which the tax is applied vary by province, as does the rate. Moreover, for those provinces whose provincial sales tax is applied to the combined cost and GST, provincial revenues decline or increase with respective changes in the GST. Of the provincial sales taxes, only the QST (and the HST) are value-added; the rest are cascading taxes.

Provincial sales taxes
ProvinceTypeProv. rate (%)Total tax rate (%)
AlbertaGST05
British ColumbiaGST + PST712
ManitobaGST + PST813
New BrunswickHST813
Newfoundland and LabradorHST813
Northwest TerritoriesGST05
Nova ScotiaHST1015
NunavutGST05
OntarioHST813
Prince Edward IslandHST914
QuebecGST + QST9.97514.975
SaskatchewanGST + PST510
YukonGST05