Indian Status: Province-by-province tax exemptions

The Department of Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has generated the following information sheet, (available in both English and French) on identification to prove Indian status for the purposes of claiming sales tax exemptions, whether for the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Quebec Sales Tax (QST), Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) or for the provincial retail sales taxes in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

The ISC guide will help eliminate confusion over the types of Status cards (what they are, what to look for, and which cards are acceptable and in circulation).

The basic rules are outlined below.

Of note, only Ontario permits a point-of-sale exemption (for its 8% portion of the HST), whereas in every other province and territory, a sales tax exemption can only be claimed where goods are to be delivered to the reserve by vendors or their agents (e.g., a courier or the postal service).

RegionBasic Guideline
FederalStatus Indians may claim an exemption from paying the five per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) when the goods are delivered to the reserve by vendors or their agents (e.g., a common carrier or the postal service). This rule applies Canada-wide
Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward IslandStatus Indians may claim an exemption from paying the fifteen per cent Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) when the goods are delivered to the reserve by vendors or their agents (e.g., a common carrier or the postal service).
QuebecStatus Indians may claim an exemption from paying the five per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) and from the 9.975 per cent Quebec Sales Tax (QST) when the goods are delivered to the reserve by vendors or their agents (e.g., a common carrier or the postal service).
OntarioStatus Indians may claim an exemption from paying the eight per cent Ontario component of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on goods or services at the point of sale. A Certificate of Indian Status card or Temporary Confirmation of Registration document is requires in order to claim this point of sale exemption.  Exemption from the full thirteen per cent Harmonized Sales Tax (HST (including the 5% GST) only applies when the goods are delivered to the reserve by vendors or their agents (e.g., a common carrier or the postal service).
Nunavut, Northwest TerritoriesStatus Indians may claim an exemption from paying the five per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) when the goods are delivered to the reserve by vendors or their agents (e.g., a common carrier or the postal service).
ManitobaStatus Indians may claim an exemption from paying the five per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) and from the seven per cent Manitoba Retail Sales Tax (RST) when the goods are delivered to the reserve by vendors or their agents (e.g., a common carrier or the postal service).
SaskatchewanStatus Indians may claim an exemption from paying the five per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) and from the six per cent Saskatchewan Provincial Sales Tax (PST) when the goods are delivered to the reserve by vendors or their agents (e.g., a common carrier or the postal service).
AlbertaStatus Indians may claim an exemption from paying the five per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) when the goods are delivered to the reserve by vendors or their agents (e.g., a common carrier or the postal service). Alberta does not have a provincial sales tax.
British ColumbiaStatus Indians may claim an exemption from paying the five per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) and from the seven per cent British Columbia Provincial Sales Tax (PST) when the goods are delivered to the reserve by vendors or their agents (e.g., a common carrier or the postal service).

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