What's Taxable Off‑Reserve Under the HST and What's Not

On October 17, 2018, the sale of recreational cannabis became legal in Ontario. While the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) generally applies to cannabis products, purchases of most forms of recreational cannabis are not eligible for the Ontario First Nations HST point of sale rebate. Medical cannabis purchases continue to be eligible for a rebate of the 8% Ontario portion of the HST, as long as they meet all the rebate criteria. Please refer to the Health Canada website for more information about requirements to obtain medical cannabis.


This page provides information about Ontario's Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) Point‑of‑Sale Rebate for First Nations and is designed to be used as supplemental information in addition to the Ontario First Nations Point‑of‑Sale Rebates and Exemptions. For purposes of this page, First Nations are First Nation individuals with a status card who are either Ontario residents or Canadian residents on the Akwesasne reserve.

If you require additional information, please contact the Ministry of Finance toll free at 1‑866‑ONT‑TAXS (1‑866‑668‑8297) or visit ontario.ca/finance.

For information on the obligation to pay the federal and provincial portions of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), please contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1‑800‑959‑5525.

Disclaimer

The information contained on this page is provided only as a guideline and is not intended to replace the legislation.

What's taxable and what's not

Below are examples of common products and services purchased off‑reserve and how they are affected by the eight per cent HST point‑of‑sale rebate for individual First Nations purchasers. The contents of this chart do not affect or interfere with the application of the exemption under section 87 of the Indian Act (Canada) and its effect on the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST).

Clothing and footwear

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Adult clothing 13% 5%
Children's clothing and diapers 5%1 5%
Shoe repair service 13% 5%
Children's footwear up to size 6 5%1 5%
Tailoring services 13% 5%
Dry cleaning service 13% 13%
  1. The 8% Ontario portion of the HST does not apply due to the children's clothing, footwear and diapers point‑of‑sale rebate.

Food and beverages

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Basic groceries (e.g., dairy, meat, vegetables, canned goods) No HST No HST
Snack foods (e.g., chips, pop) 13% 5%
Qualifying prepared food and beverages sold for $4.00 or less 5%2 5%
Restaurant meals for more than $4.00 (other than takeout) 13% 13%
Alcoholic beverages 13% 13%
  1. The 8% Ontario portion of the HST does not apply due to the qualifying prepared food and beverages point‑of‑sale rebate.

Home services

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Home phone services 13% 5%
Cell phone services 13% 5%
Cable television services 13% 5%
Internet access services 13% 5%
Municipal water No HST No HST
Electricity and heating (e.g., natural gas/oil for home) 13% 13%
Home security monitoring services 13% 13%
Home service calls to repair free‑standing appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and televisions 13% 5%
Home service calls by electrician/plumber/carpenter to maintain or repair furnace, leaky faucets, bathtub, toilet, electrical wiring, etc. 13% 13%
Cleaning services 13% 13%
Landscaping, lawn‑care and private snow removal 13% 13%
Home insurance for residence off‑reserve No HST, but 8% RST No HST, but 8% RST

Accommodation, travel and passenger transportation services

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Luggage, briefcases, bags, etc. 13% 5%
Commercial parking 13% 13%
Municipal public transit No HST No HST
GO Transit No HST No HST
Air travel originating in Ontario and terminating in the U.S.3 5% 5%
Air travel originating in Ontario and terminating outside of Canada and the U.S.4 No HST No HST
Rail, boat and bus travel originating in Ontario and terminating outside of Canada No HST No HST
Domestic air, rail, boat and bus travel originating in Ontario 13% 13%
Domestic air, rail, boat and bus travel originating on an Ontario reserve and terminating off reserve5 13% 13%
Hotel rooms 13% 13%
Taxis 13% 13%
Camp sites 13% 13%
  1. Includes air travel terminating in the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon but does not include air travel terminating in Hawaii (as per the Excise Tax Act).
  1. Includes air travel terminating in Hawaii but does not include air travel terminating in the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon (as per the Excise Tax Act).
  1. For domestic transportation services to be GST/HST‑exempt, they must originate and terminate on a reserve.

Around the house

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Cleaning products 13% 5%
Laundry detergent, fabric softeners 13% 5%
Household furniture 13% 5%
Refrigerators and freezers 13% 5%
Pre‑packaged computer software 13% 5%
Books 5%6 5%
Audio books 5%6 5%
Newspapers 5%6 5%
Magazines purchased at retail 13% 5%
Magazines purchased by subscription 13% 5%
Office supplies, stationery 13% 5%
Linens (e.g., blankets, towels, sheets) 13% 5%
Tents, sleeping bags, camping supplies 13% 5%
Tools 13% 5%
Patio furniture 13% 5%
Pet food 13% 5%
Barbeques, lawnmowers, snowblowers, sprinklers 13% 5%
Toys (e.g., puzzles, games, action figures, dolls, playsets) 13% 5%
Outdoor play equipment (e.g., swing sets, sandboxes, slides) 13% 5%
Craft supplies 13% 5%
Building materials (e.g., lumber, concrete mix) 13% 5%
Landscaping materials including sod, seeds, plants 13% 5%
Home renovations 13% 13%
  1. The 8% Ontario portion of the HST does not apply due to the books and newspapers point‑of‑sale rebates.

Motorized vehicles

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Vehicle parts 13% 5%
Short‑term auto rentals 13% 5%
Lease of a vehicle 13% 5%
Child car seats and booster seats 5%7 5%
Auto insurance No HST, No RST No HST, No RST
Labour charges to repair vehicle 13% 5%
Window repair 13% 5%
Oil change 13% 5%
Tires 13% 5%
Vehicles purchased from a GST/HST registrant, including automobiles, snowmobiles, recreational vehicles, boats and aircraft 13% 5%
Used vehicles purchased privately (from a non‑registrant), including automobiles, snowmobiles, recreational vehicles, boats and aircraft No HST, but RST8 at 13% No HST, No RST9
Gasoline/diesel 13% 13%
  1. The 8% Ontario portion of the HST does not apply due to the children's car seat and booster seat point‑of‑sale rebate.
  1. Ontario has maintained the RST on private sales of used vehicles. The RST generally applies to motor vehicles that require a permit to operate on a highway under the Highway Traffic Act; off‑road vehicles or motorized snow vehicles that require a permit under the Off‑Road Vehicles Act or the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act; boats, and aircraft.
  1. First Nation individuals with a status card may transfer vehicles purchased privately off‑reserve exempt from RST.

Off‑reserve homes

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
New homes up to $400,00010 13% less applicable rebates 13% less applicable rebates
New homes over $400,00011 13% less applicable rebates 13% less applicable rebates
Resale homes No HST No HST
Real estate commissions 13% 13%
  1. The new housing rebate is 75 per cent of the Ontario component of the HST, up to a maximum of $24,000. The rebate ensures that buyers of homes priced up to $400,000 will, on average, pay no more tax than under the RST system.
  1. New homes purchased as primary residences, valued at $400,000 or more, will be eligible for the maximum new housing rebate of $24,000.

Health products and services

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Audiologist services offered by a practitioner of the service No HST No HST
Chiropractor services offered by a practitioner of the service No HST No HST
Physiotherapist services offered by a practitioner of the service No HST No HST
Pharmacist dispensing fees No HST No HST
Over‑the‑counter medications 13% 5%
Prescription drugs No HST No HST
Medical cannabis12 13% 5%13
Some medical devices (includes walkers, hearing aids) No HST No HST
Prescription glasses/contact lenses No HST No HST
Dental services No HST No HST
Dental hygiene products (e.g., toothpaste, toothbrushes) 13% 5%
Feminine hygiene products14 No HST No HST
Adult incontinence products No HST No HST
Cosmetics 13% 5%
Hair care products (e.g., shampoo, conditioner, styling products) 13% 5%
Massage therapy services 13% 13%
Vitamins 13% 5%
  1. Medical cannabis that is purchased from a federally authorized licence holder continues to be eligible for a rebate of the 8% Ontario portion of the HST, provided all other rebate requirements are met. Please refer to the Health Canada website for more information about requirements to obtain medical cannabis.
  1. Suppliers of medical cannabis cannot provide the rebate at the point of sale because it can only be purchased online or over the phone, which does not enable purchasers to present their Certificate of Indian Status cards in person. In these cases, rebate claims must be submitted to the Ministry of Finance.
  1. The Canada Revenue Agency has indicated that beginning July 1, 2015, feminine hygiene products may be purchased without having to pay HST. Prior to this date, a rate of 5% applied on feminine hygiene products due to an Ontario point‑of‑sale rebate for the provincial portion of the HST.

Memberships, entertainment and sports equipment

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Admissions to professional sporting events 13% 13%
Movie tickets 13% 13%
Tickets for live theatre15 13% 13%
Music lessons No HST No HST
Ballet, karate, trampoline, hockey, soccer lessons, etc.16 13% 13%
Skis and snowboards 13% 5%
Hockey equipment 13% 5%
Golf clubs 13% 5%
Green fees for golf 13% 13%
Gym and athletic membership fees 13% 13%
  1. HST taxable, although some could be exempt if maximum admission charged by a public service body is $1 or less, if the admissions are made in the course of the fundraising events where charitable receipts for income tax purposes may be issued or admissions are to amateur performances.
  1. HST taxable, although some could be HST‑exempt if provided by a public service body to children age 14 and under and underprivileged individuals with a disability.

Leases and rentals

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Condo fees17 No HST No HST
Residential rents No HST No HST
Hockey rink and hall rental fees 13% 13%
  1. Residential condo fees charged to residents are exempt; however, purchases by condominium corporations will be subject to HST, if applicable.

Electronics

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
TVs 13% 5%
DVD and Blu‑ray players and accessories 13% 5%
MP3 players 13% 5%
Cell phones, smart phones 13% 5%
CDs, DVDs and Blu‑ray discs 13% 5%
Radios and stereos 13% 5%
Computers and printers 13% 5%

Professional and personal services

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Child care services No HST No HST
Legal aid No HST No HST
Legal fees 13% 13%
Funeral services 13% 13%
Coffins and urns purchased separately from a package of funeral services 13% 5%
Fitness trainer 13% 13%
Hair stylist/barber 13% 13%
Esthetician services (e.g., manicures, pedicures, facials) 13% 13%

Tobacco and cannabis

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Cigarettes and other tobacco purchases 13% 13%
Nicotine replacement products 13% 5%

Medical cannabis18

13% 5%19
Cannabis accessories (e.g., rolling papers, pipes, vaporizers) 13% 5%
Most forms of recreational cannabis (except low-THC cannabis products);20 these items will have a duty-paid stamp on them 13% 13%
Low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis products, including industrial hemp20 13% 5%
  1. Medical cannabis that is purchased from a federally authorized licence holder continues to be eligible for a rebate of the 8% Ontario portion of the HST, provided all other rebate requirements are met. Please refer to the Health Canada website for more information about requirements to obtain medical cannabis.
  1. Suppliers of medical cannabis cannot provide the rebate at the point of sale because it can only be purchased online or over the phone, which does not enable purchasers to present their Certificate of Indian Status cards in person. In these cases, rebate claims must be submitted to the Ministry of Finance.
  1. A low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis product means dried cannabis, cannabis oil or fresh cannabis any part of which does not have more than 0.3% THC. Industrial hemp includes cannabis plants and plant parts, of any variety, that contains 0.3% THC or less in the leaves and flowering heads. It includes any product made from the derivatives of the grain/seed of low-THC plants, if the product contains no more than 10 parts per million THC. Please refer to the federal Excise Act, 2001 for more information

Banking and investments

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Mortgage interest costs No HST No HST
Most financial services No HST No HST

Ontario government services

  HST Taxable Tax Status for First Nations
Driver's licence renewals and vehicle plate renewals (other than personalized licence plates) No HST No HST
Hunting and fishing licenses 13% No HST21
Vital documents (e.g., health cards, birth certificates) No HST No HST
  1. First Nations people do not require licences in recognition of their treaty and constitutional rights when hunting or fishing primarily for food on lands or waters where they have a right of access.

Still have questions?

For more information refer to Ontario First Nations Point‑of‑Sale Rebates and Exemptions or call 1‑866‑ONT‑TAXS (1‑866‑668‑8297) or visit ontario.ca/finance. For teletypewriter (TTY) please call 1‑800‑263‑7776.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is your source for the latest information about GST/HST. Visit www.cra.gc.ca/gsthst or call 1‑800‑959‑5525 for general enquiries.

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