Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
Learn more about the tax and rebates you may be eligible for.
This online book has multiple pages. Please click on the Table of Contents link above for additional information related to this topic.
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.
The Harmonized Sales Tax HST is 13% in Ontario.
Ontario provides relief on the 8% provincial portion of the HST on specific items through a point of sale rebate. See below.
Although the HST replaced the 5% federal goods and services tax (GST) and the 8% retail sales tax (RST) on July 1, 2010, RST still applies to certain premiums of insurance and benefits plans and on private purchases of specified vehicles.
The Canada Revenue Agency administers the HST. For answers to your questions and for more information call 1-800-959-5525.
When a motor vehicle is imported 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 be required to pay the 8% Ontario portion of the HST at the time of ownership transfer at a ServiceOntario location.
For information about sales by GST/HST registrants please contact the Canada Revenue Agency.
Boats and aircraft
Boats and aircraft are registered at federal government offices. No tax is collected at the time of registration. 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.
For information about the application of Retail Sales Tax (RST), read: Specified Vehicles
First Nation individuals with a status card, bands and band councils of an Ontario First Nations reserve are eligible for a point-of-sale rebate from paying the 8% Ontario portion of the HST for qualifying off-reserve purchases.
- Ontario First Nations Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) rebate
- What's Taxable Off-Reserve Under the HST and What's Not
- Certificate of Indian Status Identity Cards
Where a supplier does not provide the rebate at the point-of-sale, purchasers may apply to the Ministry of Finance for a rebate by completing an Application for Rebate of the Ontario Portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) for First Nations.
Other point-of-sale rebates
Ontario provides relief on specific items that are subject to the HST through a point-of-sale rebate. You are not required to pay the Ontario portion (8%) of the HST on items such as books, children's clothing and footwear, children's car seats and car booster seats, diapers, qualifying food and beverages, and newspapers.
The Canada Revenue Agency administers the rebate on behalf of the Government of Ontario. Where the point-of-sale rebate is not provided by the supplier, you may claim a rebate by submitting the GST189 - General Application for Rebate of GST/HST found on the Canada Revenue Agency website.
- that contain news, editorials, feature stories or other information of interest to the general public, and
- that are published at regular intervals (typically on a daily, weekly or monthly basis),
- but not flyers, inserts, magazines, periodicals and shoppers.
Qualifying prepared food and beverages that are ready for immediate consumption and are sold for a total price (for all qualifying items purchased, excluding HST) of not more than $4.00.
- a printed book or an update of a printed book
- an audio book (i.e., all or substantially all of which is a spoken reading of a printed book)
- a bound or unbound printed version of a scripture of any religion
- a printed book and a read-only medium (e.g., CDROM) whose content is related and integrated with the book’s content and when sold together as a single package
- a printed book and a read-only medium and/or a right to access a website when sold together as a single package, and if specifically designed for students enrolled in a qualifying course, such as educational courses of elementary or secondary schools.
- designed for babies, girls and boys up to and including girls' Canada Standard Size 16 and boys' Canada Standard Size 20 including baby bibs, bunting blankets and receiving blankets
- designated for girls and boys in sizes small, medium or large if the clothing does not have a designated Canada Standard Size
- children’s hosiery or stretchy socks, hats, scarves, gloves and mittens in sizes and styles designated for children
- excluding costumes, adult sized garments even if acquired for a child, garments and accessories designed to prevent bodily injury, like sports protective equipment.
- designed for babies and girls and boys up to and including girls' size 6 and boys' size 6
- without a numerical size that is designated for girls or boys in size small, medium or large
- excluding skates, rollerblades, ski-boots, footwear that has cleats, or similar footwear, adult-sized footwear even if acquired for a child, and footwear designed to prevent bodily injury.
Children's car seats and car booster seats
- that are restraint systems or booster cushions that conform with Transport Canada’s safety requirements for Standards 213, 213.1, 213.2 and 213.5 as described under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act
- excluding children’s car seats and car booster seats that do not meet Transport Canada safety standards and travel systems that are a combination stroller carrier and car seat sold in a single package
- cloth and disposable diapers designed for babies and children
- diaper inserts and liners
- rubber pants and training pants.
Incontinence products will be zero-rated under HST, in accordance with current GST rules.
For more information about GST/HST please contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8287.