HST rebates: A how-to for Status Indians living in Ontario

Are you a Status Indian living in Ontario? Have you bought anything there in the past two months off-reserve and paid sales tax?

If ‘yes’ on both fronts, beginning Sept. 1, you can submit your claim for a refund of the Ontario portion (8%) of the province’s new 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).  To claim it, you will need to produce receipts for purchases made between July 1, 2010 and Aug. 31, 2010.

Why? Well, as we laid out in a previous post, soon after the province announced they were going to implement the controversial new tax, First Nations who fell within Ontario’s borders rallied hard to preserve their tax immunity.  The victory means that, beginning Sept. 1, any Indian with Status — be they from Ontario, Saskatchewan, the Yukon or wherever — will only have to pay the federal (5% GST) portion of the tax (at point-of-purchase) when buying goods and services in Ontario.

In the meantime, if you’re a Status Indian who bought something off-rez this month or last, you can submit any and all receipts for a refund, subject to the following list of eligible and ineligible items.

Here’s what’s eligible:

  • New & used vehicles
  • Take-out meals (not dine-in: i.e., a sit-down meal inside a restaurant)
  • Telecommunication services (including cable television, telephone, internet)
  • Certain repair services (including car repairs, installations, etc.)
  • Contract payments for maintenance and warranty of goods (including motor vehicles)

Here’s what’s not eligible:

  • Fuel (really?), tobacco (really??) and booze (meh.)
  • Sit-down meals (not sure why take-out is ok) or catering services
  • Energy bills
  • Haircuts, massage therapy, dry-cleaning, home renovations, funeral services
  • Car washes, jewelry engraving (not sure why this is listed, but ok, good to know)
  • Memberships
  • Property (homes, condos, etc.) or accommodations (hotel bills, etc.)

The full list is here.

OK, so now that you know what can and can’t be claimed, how do you get your money?

Simply download and fill out this form (PDF format) and mail it to the following address with ALL eligible receipts (originals, so make and keep copies):

Ministry of Revenue
Refund Unit
2nd Floor, 1600 Champlain Avenue
Whitby ON
L1N 9B2

Be sure to include a photocopy of BOTH SIDES of your Certificate of Indian Status.

Then, beginning Sept. 1, you’ll be able to just get your exemption at the time of purchase (point-of-sale), with receipts no longer required .

Hope this helps! Let us know if you experience any hassle.

[ Image via Phillip ]

3 thoughts on “HST rebates: A how-to for Status Indians living in Ontario

  1. Given Indian Status consumers need to submit their receipts for an HST rebate, this also entails submitting original receipts to the Ministry of Revenue the consumer may need in the future for warranties or exchanges of purchases made between such dates. Surely, original receipts will not be returned.

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