Learn about gasoline tax rules in Ontario. The types of gasoline products, who needs to register, report and pay gasoline tax.
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Ontario taxes and COVID-19. Learn more.
As of January 1, 2020, First Nation people, bands, Tribal Councils and band empowered entities will no longer require the Certificate of Exemption (Ontario Gas Card) as proof of entitlement to purchase tax‑exempt gasoline from authorized, on‑reserve retailers.
This overview provides general information on Ontario's gasoline tax rules; it should not be considered as a substitute for the Gasoline Tax Act and Regulations.
The Ontario Ministry of Finance is responsible for administering the Gasoline Tax Act (the Act).
Generally, Ontario imposes a direct tax on gasoline products, which is payable by consumers. This means that persons who purchase or receive delivery of gasoline products for their consumption (or for someone else at their expense) must pay the gasoline tax.
Gasoline products include:
- unleaded gasoline
- leaded gasoline
- aviation fuel.
Gasoline tax rates
The tax rates are:
- 14.7¢ per litre of unleaded gasoline
- Effective July 1 until December 31, 2022, the gasoline tax rate on unleaded gasoline will be reduced from 14.7 cents per litre to 9.0 cents per litre, representing a cut of 5.7 cents per litre. The tax rate decrease takes effect at 12:01 a.m., July 1, 2022.
- 17.7¢ per litre of leaded gasoline
- 4.3¢ per litre of propane (for automotive use only)
- aviation fuel (see table below)
|September 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015||3.7¢ per litre|
|April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016||4.7¢ per litre|
|April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017||5.7¢ per litre|
|Beginning April 1, 2017||6.7¢ per litre|
|*Beginning January 1, 2020, in Northern Ontario||2.7¢ per litre|
*Northern Ontario is defined as the geographic areas of Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Timiskaming. The lower rate of tax for Northern Ontario applies where the purchaser takes possession of the purchased fuel in Northern Ontario and the purchased fuel is transferred into the fuel tank of an aircraft in Northern Ontario.
Since 2004, a portion of the gasoline tax is given to municipalities for public transit.
The Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines monitors gasoline prices across Ontario and provides data on these prices.
The federal government, through the Competition Bureau, ensures fair competition in gasoline markets.
Who pays gasoline tax?
All consumers of gasoline products in Ontario must pay gasoline tax, no matter how they plan to use the products, except:
- Persons serving in or employed by a diplomatic or consular mission, high commission or trade commission, their spouses and families, provided such persons are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and are assigned to duty from the state they represent.
- First Nations Individuals and bands (as defined in the federal Indian Act who acquire gasoline, aviation fuel or propane on a reserve for their exclusive use.
- Visiting armed forces with respect to gasoline or aviation fuel used in their service vehicles, aircraft and vessels.
How does Ontario collect gasoline tax?
Gasoline tax is collected by ministry designated collectors at the wholesale level and is included on the invoice to the retailer. The retailer, in turn, recovers the tax amount when the sale is made to the consumer. Gasoline tax is included in the price you pay at the pump and, unlike the HST, does not appear as a separate line item on your receipt.
Under some conditions, businesses can ask for a refund of gasoline tax.
If you are a retailer who buys propane in bulk, tax included, you can apply for a refund on sales of propane dispensed into cylinders and other unlicensed equipment.
Read on: Ontario Gasoline Tax Refund Program (four year time limit applies)
Who needs to register?
You need to register with the province if you intend to conduct business as a:
- collector/wholesaler who collects tax (this category includes retail dealers of propane who buy tax-exempt propane for resale to customers)
- importer of gasoline products in bulk
- exporter of gasoline products in bulk
- manufacturer of gasoline products
- interjurisdictional transporter of gasoline in bulk into or out of Ontario
- operator of commercial vehicles travelling into or out of Ontario that may be subject to the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) registration. See below for IFTA licensing information.
Before issuing permits, registrations or designations, the Minister of Finance (minister) may impose reasonable conditions, limitations and restrictions on those permits, registrations or designations.
As an exception, importers who are not registered must, upon entry into Ontario from outside Canada, pay to the minister an amount equal to the tax. This amount is payable by certified cheque, bank draft, or money order, at the time of entry. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) collects this amount for Ontario at border entry points.
To help identify persons authorized by the minister to sell and distribute gasoline products, the ministry maintains a list of persons registered under the Act. Anyone can subscribe to email alerts to stay informed of changes to registrant status (e.g., authorized, suspended and cancelled registrations). View the registrant list.
If you operate a qualified motor vehicle travelling into or out of Ontario, you may register under the IFTA to obtain an IFTA licence and decals to display on your vehicle.
If the vehicle is not licensed under IFTA and considered to be a qualified vehicle, then a one‑time permit must be purchased from each province or state in which you intend to travel.
To inquire about registering under the Act:
- call the Ministry of Finance at 1-866-ONT‑TAXS (1-866-668‑8297)
- when prompted, say gasoline
- you will be transferred to a representative who can explain the registration process and requirements.
Will I have to post security?
Before the minister issues you a permit, registration certificate or a designation, you may need to provide security through a surety bond or letter of credit.
In most cases, the amount of security required is an amount equal to three months' average tax collectable and payable or $1 million, whichever is greater.
Acceptable forms of security include:
- Irrevocable Letters of Credit issued by and redeemable at an Ontario branch of a Canadian Chartered Bank in the standard form approved by the ministry.
- Surety Bonds issued by financial institutions registered with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario to deal in surety. See list of registered financial institutions.
- Cash (interest will not be paid).
Following are links to approved forms:
A new legal entity, which results from the reorganization of an existing collector or registrant, or any entity that undergoes a substantial change in ownership or control, must apply to the ministry for a new designation or registration certificate and must provide new or revised security to reflect the new designation.
How do I file gasoline tax returns?
To maintain gasoline tax accountability, the ministry requires registrants to file monthly gasoline tax returns. Fines and penalties may apply if returns and payments are not received by the due date, are incomplete or tax is not remitted in full.
Once you register with the Ministry of Finance, the ministry will forward a personalized return each month. You must complete this return, even if you did not have any activity during the reporting period.
Didn't get a return this month?
Please call the Ministry of Finance at 1-866-ONT‑TAXS (1-866-668‑8297).
You can file your return:
- online, using ONT‑TAXS online
- by mail to: Ministry of Finance, 33 King Street West, PO Box 620, Oshawa ON L1H 8E9
- in person at Ministry of Finance, 33 King Street West, Oshawa or at certain ServiceOntario locations.
If you use ONT‑TAXS online, you can elect to stop receiving paper returns by clicking the Change in Issuing Returns link.
Gasoline retailers are not required to complete returns, however, they must keep, at their principal place of business, records and books of account for all gasoline purchases and sales for seven years.
Designated collector, registered importers and registered exporters need to send their completed return, along with any gasoline tax collectable and payable, to the ministry by the 21st day of the month following the month of the sale, import or export, as applicable.
Effective January 1, 1999, Ontario implemented an accelerated remittance program for large gasoline tax collectors (i.e., those who remitted tax of more than $36 million in the previous calendar year).
Large gasoline tax collectors need to:
- send their completed return to the ministry by the last day of the month following the last day of your reporting period
- pay the tax in two equal instalments that are due on the last of the current reporting month and on the 15th day of the next reporting month.
Registered manufacturers need to send their completed return by the 21st day of the second month following the reporting period. Manufacturers who complete a combined fuel and gasoline manufacturer return can send it to the ministry by the 25th day of the second month following the reporting period without being penalized.
Registered propane dealers need to remit to the ministry the tax collectable on sales of automotive propane and send their completed return by the 21st day of the month following the month of the sale.
Interjurisdictional Transporters need to send their completed return to the ministry by the 21st day of the month following the month in which the gasoline, aviation fuel or propane was transported.
Ontario's exemption program for First Nations
First Nations bands and individuals who qualify as an Indian or band under the federal Indian Act are exempt from paying gasoline tax if they buy gasoline on a reserve for their exclusive use from an authorized on‑reserve gasoline retailer.