Retail Sales Tax

On July 1, 2010, the Retail Sales Tax (RST) was replaced by the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The provincial portion of the HST is eight per cent and the federal portion is five per cent, for a combined HST rate of 13 per cent.

The Canada Revenue Agency administers the HST. For answers to your HST questions and for more information, visit www.cra.gc.ca/gsthst or call 1 800 959-5525.

RST continues to apply to:

  • taxable insurance premiums, and
  • private sales of specified vehicles from a person who is not a GST/HST registrant.

RST related activities such as audits, refunds and appeals, etc., that apply to periods prior to July 1, 2010 continue during our wind-down period.

The information below explains how RST applies after June 30, 2010 to insurance premiums and specified vehicles.

Who collects and remits the RST?

Insurance premiums: Vendors are required to collect and remit the RST with their periodic tax return. Tax return filing frequencies that were in place for RST returns before July 1, 2010 have been maintained. For more information read Insurance Premiums .

Private sales of specified vehicles: Vehicles purchased privately from a person who is not a GST/HST registrant is subject to the RST at a rate of 13 per cent. RST is payable at the time of purchase.

How do I register as a vendor and obtain a vendor permit?

Only businesses that sell taxable insurance products or provide self insured benefits to their employees must be registered as vendors with the Ministry of Finance and obtain a vendor permit to charge, collect and remit RST. Effective June 30, 2010, all former RST vendor accounts were closed and businesses primarily engaged in insurance activities were automatically re-registered.

You can register as a vendor and obtain a vendor permit:

Can I apply for a RST refund?

All applications for a rebate or refund of RST paid must have been received by the Ministry of Finance by December 31, 2012. The December 31, 2012 deadline does not apply to applications for refunds or rebates of RST paid in respect of insurance premiums and for private transfers of used vehicles. The existing refund and rebate periods continue to apply for both of these areas.

For more information, see the list of RST forms and publications.

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