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Canadian Sales Tax Returns


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There have been an increased number of questions about Canada and how their sales tax reporting system is set up.  While Canada is not as complex as the US when it comes to taxability and filing, there are some differences that are important to understand.

Canada has sales tax at the federal and Provincial levels. Federal sales tax is called the Goods and Services Tax (GST).  When a Province administers their own tax this provincial tax is called the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) or Retail Sales Tax (RST), with the exception of Quebec, which is referred to as Quebec Sales Tax (QST).  Several Provinces have chosen to allow Revenue Canada to administer their sales tax along with the federal sales tax.  When this is done the tax is called the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

HST is composed of both the federal sales tax as well as the provincial sales tax, all of which is reported to Revenue Canada.  Below you will find a list of provinces that blend the PST with the federal taxes in order to report and bill as the HST:

  • British Columbia (eff 7/1/10)
  • Labrador
  • Newfoundland
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario (eff 7/1/10)

There are four (4) provinces that still self-administer their taxes and require separate registrations:

  • Manitoba (RST)
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan
  • Quebec (QST)

Alberta, Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories have no PST. So the most returns that could be filed on a monthly basis is 5: 1 federal return and  4 Provincial returns.


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Avalara helps businesses of all sizes get tax compliance right. In partnership with leading ERP, accounting, ecommerce, and other financial management system providers, Avalara delivers cloud-based compliance solutions for various transaction taxes, including sales and use, VAT, excise, communications, and other indirect tax types. Headquartered in Seattle, Avalara has offices across the U.S. and around the world in the U.K., Belgium, Brazil, and India.