Retail sales tax (RST) is charged on:
Note: The harmonized sales tax (HST) took effect July 1, 2010 and replaced the RST, with the exception of RST on certain premiums of insurance and benefits plans and RST on private purchases of specified vehicles. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers the HST. For answers to your HST questions and for more information, visit www.cra.gc.ca or call 1 800 959-8287.
The RST rates are:
A specified vehicle includes:
When you purchase a vehicle privately from a person who is not a GST/HST registrant, you pay 13% RST when you register as the new legal owner of the vehicle. The amount is based on the purchase price or the vehicle’s wholesale value (Red Book), whichever is greater. Specified vehicles without a Red Book value (e.g., off road vehicles, boats, aircraft, etc.) are taxed at 13% based on the purchase price. RST is collected at ServiceOntario centres across Ontario. You do not pay RST to the seller.
In some cases, you may not have to pay RST if
Boats and aircraft are registered at federal government offices. No RST is collected at time of registration. You can pay RST (if applicable) at ServiceOntario centres or directly to the Ministry of Finance. Boats and aircraft purchased outside Ontario and brought into Ontario for use may be subject to the 8% Ontario portion of the HST. ServiceOntario centres cannot accept payment of the 8% Ontario portion of the HST for boats and aircraft. For more information please call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1 800 959-8287 or read Goods brought into a participating province.
You may be required to pay the 8% Ontario portion of the HST (rather than RST) if you import a vehicle into Ontario from outside Canada or it is brought into Ontario from a non-HST province (e.g., Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, etc.).
You may need to register for a Vendor Permit number, collect and remit the RST, and file a periodic tax return with the Ministry of Finance if you are:
Qualifying purchasers can claim an exemption from RST on certain insurance contracts or benefits plans by providing the supplier with a Purchase Exemption Certificate.
The purchaser is responsible for issuing a valid Purchase Exemption Certificate (i.e., the purchaser can support that all the conditions of the exemption are met) when claiming an exemption from RST.
The supplier is responsible for ensuring the certificate is properly completed (i.e., all the information is filled out on the form) and retaining a copy of the purchase exemption certificate to support the non-collection of RST in case of an audit.
All other purchasers claiming an exemption must provide a valid Purchase Exemption Certificate to the supplier.
A purchaser cannot use identity cards other than those listed above when claiming an exemption from RST. Suppliers must charge RST on taxable sales when presented with other identity cards.
If you collect premiums for taxable insurance contracts or benefits plans, you need to register as a vendor and get a Vendor Permit. To do this:
Compensation is available to vendors who are required to collect RST. It is based on the amount of RST charged (i.e., reported on line 2 of the RST return card).
If the amount of RST you collected is:
The annual compensation limit for each legal entity is $1,500 for each 12-month period ending March 31.
You can get a refund of RST that has been:
Complete and send a refund application form to the Ministry of Finance within four years from the date the RST was paid. With your completed application, include all supporting documents and proof that RST was paid.
If you are selling or closing your business and sell assets (i.e. fixtures, goods, chattels) in bulk, you need to get a Clearance Certificate from the Ministry of Finance.
Before you can get a Clearance Certificate, all taxes you owe under the following laws must be paid:
The Clearance Certificate indicates that all taxes, penalties and interest collectable or payable by you, the seller, have been paid or that satisfactory arrangements have been made for such payment or for securing such payment.
A purchaser that fails to obtain a copy of the Clearance Certificate from the seller could be liable for any taxes, penalties and interest owing by the seller at the time of the sale.
The requirements apply to sellers who held or who were required to hold a permit under the Retail Sales Tax Act on or before June 30, 2010, as well as to sellers who, at any time after June 30, 2010, hold or are required to hold a permit under the Retail Sales Tax Act.
All requests for Clearance Certificates must be made in writing, at least two weeks before the sale takes place, and signed by the seller or the seller’s authorized representative.
The request should be sent by fax to 905 436-4474 or by mail to:
Ministry of Finance
Collection Support Operations
33 King Street West PO Box 627
Oshawa ON L1H 8H5