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Sales Taxes   ->  GST/HST  -> Exempt and taxable (including zero-rated) goods and services

GST/HST Taxable Goods and Services

Most goods and services purchased in Canada, or brought into Canada are taxable.  Examples of taxable goods and services can be found in the CRA Guide RC4022 under the heading "Taxable Supplies".

GST/HST Exempt Goods and Services

Some goods and services are exempt from GST/HST, such as:

bulletused residential housing
bulletresidential accommodation of one month or more
bulletresidential condominium fees
bulletmost health, medical, and dental services performed by licensed physicians or dentists for medical reasons
bulletday-care services for children 14 years old and younger, if the services are for less than 24 hours a day
bulletbridge, road, and ferry tolls
bulletlegal aid services
bulletmany educational services, including
bulletcourses supplied by a vocational school that lead to a certificate or diploma to practice a trade or vocation
bullettutoring services provided to an individual in a course approved for credit by a school authority or the service follows a curriculum designated by a school authority
bulletFor more information on educational services, see the Excise Tax Act Schedule V Exempt Supplies and scroll down to Part III Educational Services.
bulletmusic lessons
bulletmost financial institution services including arrangements for a loan or mortgage
bulletarranging for and issuing insurance policies by insurance companies, agents, and brokers
bulletmost goods and services provided by charities
bulletcertain goods and services provided by non-profit organizations, governments, and other public service bodies such as municipal transit services and standard residential services such as water distribution.

For charities, see the CRA page RC4082 GST/HST Information for Charities.

GST/HST Zero-Rated Goods and Services

Taxable goods and services, for purposes of GST and HST, include items which are zero-rated.  That is, these items are considered taxable, but the tax rate is zero.  These zero-rated items include things such as

bulletbasic groceries,
bulletprescription drugs,
bulletmost agricultural products and farm livestock, and
bulletmany medical devices, such as hearing aids and artificial teeth
bulletas of July 1, 2015, products marketed exclusively for feminine hygiene purposes.  This includes sanitary napkins, tampons, sanitary belts, menstrual cups or other similar products.  See the May 2015 Notice of Ways and Means Motion and Explanatory Notes.

Zero-rated also includes items which would be taxed at the full rate, except that they are being exported.  The transportation costs of the exported items would also be zero-rated.  If you provide services for non-residents of Canada, these services may be zero-rated.  See the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) GST/HST Memorandum 4.5.3 Exports - Services and Intellectual Property.

Small Supplier Threshold Includes Zero-Rated Sales

Sales of zero-rated items must be included when calculating whether or not the business has reached the $30,000 annual small supplier threshold for collecting GST.  However, no GST is charged when the zero-rated items are sold.  Visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website for more information on Which GST/HST rate to charge.  This includes a table showing the tax status of various types of supplies, and some examples of supplies taxable at 0%.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Resources

Forms and Publications for GST/HST

GST Memoranda Series - by Chapters

Revised: October 26, 2023


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