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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 Harmonized Sales Tax rebate. 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 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 TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Adult clothing13%5%
Children's clothing and diapers5%15%
Shoe repair service13%5%
Children's footwear up to size 65%15%
Tailoring services13%5%
Dry cleaning service13%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 TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Basic groceries (e.g., dairy, meat, vegetables, canned goods)No HSTNo HST
Snack foods (e.g., chips, pop)13%5%
Qualifying prepared food and beverages sold for $4.00 or less5%25%
Restaurant meals for more than $4.00 (other than takeout)13%13%
Alcoholic beverages13%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 TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Home phone services13%5%
Cell phone services13%5%
Cable television services13%5%
Internet access services13%5%
Municipal waterNo HSTNo HST
Electricity and heating (e.g., natural gas/oil for home)13%13%
Home security monitoring services13%13%
Home service calls to repair free‑standing appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and televisions13%5%
Home service calls by electrician/plumber/carpenter to maintain or repair furnace, leaky faucets, bathtub, toilet, electrical wiring, etc.13%13%
Cleaning services13%13%
Landscaping, lawn‑care and private snow removal13%13%
Home insurance for residence off‑reserveNo HST, but 8% RSTNo HST, but 8% RST

Accommodation, travel and passenger transportation services

 HST TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Luggage, briefcases, bags, etc.13%5%
Commercial parking13%13%
Municipal public transitNo HSTNo HST
GO TransitNo HSTNo HST
Air travel originating in Ontario and terminating in the U.S.35%5%
Air travel originating in Ontario and terminating outside of Canada and the U.S.4No HSTNo HST
Rail, boat and bus travel originating in Ontario and terminating outside of CanadaNo HSTNo HST
Domestic air, rail, boat and bus travel originating in Ontario13%13%
Domestic air, rail, boat and bus travel originating on an Ontario reserve and terminating off reserve513%13%
Hotel rooms13%13%
Taxis13%13%
Camp sites13%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).
  2. 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).
  3. For domestic transportation services to be GST/HST‑exempt, they must originate and terminate on a reserve.

Around the house

 HST TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Cleaning products13%5%
Laundry detergent, fabric softeners13%5%
Household furniture13%5%
Refrigerators and freezers13%5%
Pre‑packaged computer software13%5%
Books5%65%
Audio books5%65%
Newspapers5%65%
Magazines purchased at retail13%5%
Magazines purchased by subscription13%5%
Office supplies, stationery13%5%
Linens (e.g., blankets, towels, sheets)13%5%
Tents, sleeping bags, camping supplies13%5%
Tools13%5%
Patio furniture13%5%
Pet food13%5%
Barbeques, lawnmowers, snowblowers, sprinklers13%5%
Toys (e.g., puzzles, games, action figures, dolls, playsets)13%5%
Outdoor play equipment (e.g., swing sets, sandboxes, slides)13%5%
Craft supplies13%5%
Building materials (e.g., lumber, concrete mix)13%5%
Landscaping materials including sod, seeds, plants13%5%
Home renovations13%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 TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Vehicle parts13%5%
Short‑term auto rentals13%5%
Lease of a vehicle13%5%
Child car seats and booster seats5%75%
Auto insuranceNo HST, No RSTNo HST, No RST
Labour charges to repair vehicle13%5%
Window repair13%5%
Oil change13%5%
Tires13%5%
Vehicles purchased from a GST/HST registrant, including automobiles, snowmobiles, recreational vehicles, boats and aircraft13%5%
Used vehicles purchased privately (from a non‑registrant), including automobiles, snowmobiles, recreational vehicles, boats and aircraftNo HST, but RST8 at 13%No HST, No RST9
Gasoline/diesel13%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.
  2. 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.
  3. First Nation individuals with a status card may transfer vehicles purchased privately off‑reserve exempt from RST.

Off‑reserve homes

 HST TaxableTax Status for First Nations
New homes up to $400,0001013% less applicable rebates13% less applicable rebates
New homes over $400,0001113% less applicable rebates13% less applicable rebates
Resale homesNo HSTNo HST
Real estate commissions13%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.
  2. 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 TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Audiologist services offered by a practitioner of the serviceNo HSTNo HST
Chiropractor services offered by a practitioner of the serviceNo HSTNo HST
Physiotherapist services offered by a practitioner of the serviceNo HSTNo HST
Pharmacist dispensing feesNo HSTNo HST
Over‑the‑counter medications13%5%
Prescription drugsNo HSTNo HST
Medical cannabis1213%5%13
Some medical devices (includes walkers, hearing aids)No HSTNo HST
Prescription glasses/contact lensesNo HSTNo HST
Dental servicesNo HSTNo HST
Dental hygiene products (e.g., toothpaste, toothbrushes)13%5%
Feminine hygiene products14No HSTNo HST
Adult incontinence productsNo HSTNo HST
Cosmetics13%5%
Hair care products (e.g., shampoo, conditioner, styling products)13%5%
Massage therapy services13%13%
Vitamins13%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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Admissions to professional sporting events13%13%
Movie tickets13%13%
Tickets for live theatre1513%13%
Music lessonsNo HSTNo HST
Ballet, karate, trampoline, hockey, soccer lessons, etc.1613%13%
Skis and snowboards13%5%
Hockey equipment13%5%
Golf clubs13%5%
Green fees for golf13%13%
Gym and athletic membership fees13%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.
  2. 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 TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Condo fees17No HSTNo HST
Residential rentsNo HSTNo HST
Hockey rink and hall rental fees13%13%
Self-storage unit rental13%13%
  1. Residential condo fees charged to residents are exempt; however, purchases by condominium corporations will be subject to HST, if applicable.

Electronics

 HST TaxableTax Status for First Nations
TVs13%5%
DVD and Blu‑ray players and accessories13%5%
MP3 players13%5%
Cell phones, smart phones13%5%
CDs, DVDs and Blu‑ray discs13%5%
Radios and stereos13%5%
Computers and printers13%5%

Professional and personal services

 HST TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Child care servicesNo HSTNo HST
Legal aidNo HSTNo HST
Legal fees13%13%
Funeral services13%13%
Coffins and urns purchased separately from a package of funeral services13%5%
Fitness trainer13%13%
Hair stylist/barber13%13%
Esthetician services (e.g., manicures, pedicures, facials)13%13%

Tobacco and cannabis

 HST TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Cigarettes and other tobacco purchases13%13%
Nicotine replacement products13%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 them13%13%
Low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis products, including industrial hemp2013%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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Mortgage interest costsNo HSTNo HST
Most financial servicesNo HSTNo HST

Ontario government services

 HST TaxableTax Status for First Nations
Driver's licence renewals and vehicle plate renewals (other than personalized licence plates)No HSTNo HST
Hunting and fishing licenses13%No HST21
Vital documents (e.g., health cards, birth certificates)No HSTNo 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 Harmonized Sales Tax rebate, 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 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.

Updated: April 05, 2022
Published: March 23, 2022