Ontario First Nations Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) rebate
Eligible First Nations people, bands and band councils of an Ontario First Nations reserve, may claim a rebate of the 8% Ontario portion of the HST paid on qualifying goods and services purchased off-reserve.
Vendors can provide this rebate at the time of purchase or customers can apply for the rebate from the Ministry of Finance after they have completed a purchase.
The rebate can only be claimed on qualifying goods or services purchased for the exclusive personal use of eligible First Nations people, bands or band councils of an Ontario First Nations reserve.
Who is eligible
First Nations people who are a resident of Ontario or Canada and reside on the Akwesasne reserve are eligible for the HST rebate.
You must also have either a federal government-issued:
Bands or band councils of an Ontario First Nations reserve (including the Akwesasne reserve) are also eligible.
What goods and services qualify
Some common examples of goods and services that qualify for the rebate are listed here.
You can also browse the full list of what's taxable off-reserve under the HST and what's not.
Purchases that qualify
Examples of goods and services that qualify:
- most tangible goods, including:
- new and used motor vehicles purchased from a dealer
- take-out meals
- medical cannabis purchased from a federally-authorized licence holder
- low-THC (less than 0.3%) cannabis products that do not have a duty-paid stamp on them
- cannabis accessories (for example rolling papers, pipes, vaporizers)
- warranty or maintenance agreements for qualifying tangible goods
- services to install, assemble, dismantle, adjust, repair or maintain the qualifying tangible goods
- telecommunication services (including cable television, telephone, internet)
Purchases that do not qualify
The rebate cannot be claimed if:
- the goods are not subject to HST (for example, basic groceries or certain health care services)
- the goods are select items that already qualify for a rebate of the Ontario portion of the HST (for example, children's clothing, printed books, etc.)
- the purchaser is eligible for input tax credits for the HST payable (for example, because the purchase is for use in the purchaser's business activities)
Examples of goods and services that do not qualify:
- restaurant food (except take-out meals)
- tangible goods supplied under a catering agreement
- electricity, natural gas
- gasoline and fuel
- raw leaf tobacco and tobacco products
- most forms of recreational cannabis – these items will have a duty-paid stamp
- real property (for example, new homes, condos and mobile homes)
- transient accommodation (for example, hotels)
Rebate at the time of purchase
Vendors may provide the rebate of the 8% Ontario portion of the HST to eligible customers when the purchase is made (known as the “point-of-sale”).
Vendors that provide the rebate at the point-of-sale will credit the 8% Ontario portion of the HST and only charge the 5% federal portion of the HST.
At the time of purchase, you must show the vendor either a:
- federal government-issued Certificate of Indian Status card
- federal government-issued Temporary Confirmation of Registration, plus a piece of government ID with your photo and name on it
As the customer, you must be buying or importing the eligible goods or services exclusively for your personal use or consumption.
Band and band council customers
Bands and band councils of an Ontario First Nations reserve must present written certification that the goods or services are exclusively for consumption or use only by the band or the council of the band.
An example of written certification is a letter on the band’s letterhead and signed by an authorized representative of the band.
Certificate of Indian Status card
If a customer presents a federal government-issued Certificate of Indian Status card, you must:
- make sure that the items being purchased qualify for the rebate
- look at the card and confirm it displays the customer’s photograph
- record the purchase date, customer’s name, card number, band registry number and a brief description of the goods sold – these records should be kept for audit purposes
Temporary Confirmation of Registration
If a customer presents a federal government-issued Temporary Confirmation of Registration, you must:
- view a piece of government ID with the customer’s picture to confirm their name matches the name on the temporary document (for example, driver’s licence)
- confirm the temporary document has a raised seal of the Indian Registrar (bottom-right side of the document)
A photocopy of the Temporary Confirmation of Registration document is not acceptable.
The Temporary Confirmation of Registration document will be deemed null and void if altered in any way.
Other cards, like a band card or Métis card, are not permitted to support the First Nations HST Rebate.
Vendor reporting requirements
For information on how GST/HST registrant vendors are required to report the Ontario First Nations HST rebate, please refer to GST/HST Info Sheet GI-106, Ontario First Nations Point-of-Sale Relief – Reporting Requirements for GST/HST Registrant Suppliers.
These reporting requirements relate only to the Ontario First Nations HST rebate and are not applicable to:
- any GST/HST exemptions under section 87 of the Indian Act (Canada)
- situations where an Ontario HST rebate on certain designated items applies
For more information about reporting requirements, please contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) directly at 1-800-959-5525.
Online, phone or mail/courier purchases
Vendors are not allowed to provide the rebate at the time of purchase when goods are purchased via the Internet or other ways that do not allow the vendor to verify the Certificate of Indian Status card.
The rebate also cannot be provided at the time of sale on goods imported by mail or courier.
Rebate at the time of importation
The Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) may provide the rebate at the “point of importation” on qualifying goods imported into Ontario by eligible First Nations people, bands or band councils of an Ontario First Nations reserve.
First Nations people must show border service officers their Certificate of Indian Status card at the time that the goods are imported.
If an eligible customer does not get the rebate at the time of importation, the customer may claim a rebate from the Ontario Ministry of Finance using the Application for Rebate of the Ontario Portion of the HST for First Nations form.
Rebate claimed after the sale
As a customer, if you do not get the rebate at the point-of-sale or importation, you may claim a rebate from the Ministry of Finance.
You may save your receipts (up to 100 per claim) and submit one application, instead of filing multiple applications for small rebate amounts.
Please note: the ministry is currently receiving a higher volume of claims than usual, which may result in delays beyond the usual service standard timing. If you would like to enquire about the status of your claim, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to submit a claim
1. Download and complete the Application for Rebate of the Ontario Portion of the HST for First Nations form.
2. Gather the original receipt(s) for qualifying goods and services showing the HST was paid.
3. Include one of the following supporting documents:
- if the purchase was made by an individual, a photocopy of both sides of the customer’s valid Certificate of Indian Status card or Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document
- if the purchase was made by a band or band council, a letter on band letterhead from the band or council stating that the goods or services are exclusively for the consumption or use by the band or band council
4. Mail the completed application form, receipts and supporting documents to:
Ministry of Finance
33 King Street West
PO Box 625
After you submit a claim
Please allow up to eight weeks for the ministry to verify and process your rebate claim.
Submitting one application with several receipts instead of many applications for small rebate amounts will speed up processing time (please limit applications to 100 receipts per claim).
Your receipts will be sent back to the address on the application form. If you need your receipt for warranty purposes, please create and keep a copy for your records.
Getting your rebate
You will get your rebate in the form of a cheque sent to the address on the application form.
You can also get your rebate faster with direct deposit. Complete the direct deposit section on the Application for Rebate of the Ontario Portion of the HST for First Nations and attach a void cheque.
Authorize a representative
You can authorize a representative (for example, someone from your local band council) to act on your behalf for your HST rebate claim.
To authorize a representative, complete Section B of the Application for Rebate of the Ontario Portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) for First Nations form.
Both you and the representative need to sign the application form.
Deadline to claim a rebate
For the 8% Ontario portion of HST
You must submit your application within four years from the date the tax was paid for:
- the 8% Ontario portion of the HST paid in Ontario
- qualifying goods imported into Canada
For the portion of HST in another province
You can apply for a rebate of the provincial portion of the HST paid in another participating province.
On qualifying goods brought into Ontario within 30 days of purchase, you must submit your application within one year from the date the goods were brought into Ontario.
The Ontario First Nations HST Rebate is different than the current exemption provided to First Nations people with a status card under section 87 of the Indian Act (Canada) which is applicable to the GST/HST. For information on how the GST/HST applies to First Nations peoples, please refer to the CRA’s website.
Ontario also provides a rebate of the 8% provincial portion of the HST for all Ontarians on specific items such as:
- print newspapers
- qualifying prepared food and beverages
- printed books
- children's goods
- feminine hygiene products
If a vendor does not give you the Ontario HST point-of-sale rebate on these designated items at the time of purchase, you must apply to the CRA for a rebate, since the CRA processes the rebate claims on behalf of the Ontario government. For instructions on how to claim a rebate of HST in these situations, please contact the CRA at 1-800-959-5525.
For more information about this rebate or the application form, please call 1-866-ONTTAXS (6688297).