Tax rebate, Toronto
If you are visiting Toronto (or any other part of Canada) save the receipts for purchases over $50 Canadian (before tax). You can get a refund of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) if you spend at least $200 on goods and/or accommodation.
The GST amounts to 7 percent of your bill. You will see it at the bottom of the sales slip, along with the 8 percent PST (Provincial Sales Tax), which is not refundable.
To get the rebate, this is what you do: BEFORE you check in at the airport (the procedure has changed since I first wrote this tip) have your original receipts stamped at the Canadian Customs Information counter on the Arrivals level of the airport. You will receive a form to fill out, which is sent to the tax office together with the receipts. If you need the receipts for some other purpose, don't forget to photocopy them.
If you check in, go through security, and THEN remember that envelope of receipts - as I did on my recent visit - you probably won't have the time (or energy) to go back to arrivals and start all over again, which means standing on line and enduring another security check. So it's probably good to get to the airport a little earlier if you plan on doing this.
If you have spent less than $200 or can't be bothered for whatever the reason, you can save the receipts for up to a year and file for a rebate on your next trip.
Within a month or so, they send you a check in the mail! From my own experience, I can tell you it works (unless I was just lucky).
What to buy: 2012 UPDATE: Unfortunately, this arrangement was cancelled in 2007. From what I see, tourists and conference organizers can still file for a rebate on taxes paid for hotel accommodation. Oh well...
Keeping for historical reasons. Tax refund does not apply to goods, but can still be claimed for things such as hotels. Please check the website for more complete information:
Visitors to Canada - GST/HST refund for visitors
Canada applies two taxes on personal items and services: GST (7%) and PST (8%).
Visitors to Canada are entitled to tax refund for eligible goods for personal use and/or and short-term accomodation (hotel).
In order to redeem the GST, each receipt has to have a minimum purchase amount of CAN$50 (i.e., 3 or 4 books/DVD's totalling CAN$51 is OK).
All goods purchase + short-term accomodation must amount to at least CAN$200 (before tax).
In order to claim PST, individual item must be over CAN$625 (jewellery would be a good example).
What you will be able to redeem taxes on:
- Personal goods such as books, DVD's, CD's, clothes, hotel stay, among other.
What you will NOT be able to redeem taxes on:
- Meals, transportation (including car rental and petrol/fuel/gas), alcohol, tobacco, services such as dry cleaning or beauty treatments, among other.
What to buy: In order to claim these taxes, there are two ways to go about it:
- Use one of the many tax refund services available in the city Like Sears, for instance. I even think there is one in the airport. This is NOT recommended, although you get your money immediately there are service costs of 15-25%!!!!
- Use the canadian government tax refund service. This will require a waiting time of a couple of weeks, but you will recveive a bank check (in my case, it was even in Euros!) and the only fees you have to pay are the local bank processing fees (in the Netherlands it was about 14 Eur).
If you opt for the second option (recommended), all receipt should be stamped at the customs office in the airport (there is one in each terminal, just ask someone where it is). After that ask for a form and take it home, fill it in and send along with all the original receipts, invoices. The leaflet that comes with the forms explains all the necessary steps
Check the website for more information.
Save all your receipts if you do a lot of shopping while here! We have some crazy high taxes (15%) and if you don't live here than you are due it all back! You can get the tax rebate forms at the airport and at major shopping centres. There are instructions as to the amounts each receipt must have and so on, so save everything! The tag you see on the item is never what you pay...you'll always have to add that 15%..so you're entitled it back!
When shopping in Toronto as a foreing tourist, you can reclaim some of the money you are spending:
1) The tax on your hotel bill will be payed back;
2) The tax paid on all goods that you are exporting (so not on foods, drinks, etc...) will be paid back to you.
When leaving Toronto via the airport, go to the arrival hall. there you will find the customs information agency (Douane). They will stamp all tickets of goods you are exporting. (you better go see these guys before you check the lugage in, as they would like to see some of it).
When the tickets are stamped, go to the tax reclaim desk in the departure hall. They will give you an immediate refund of these taxes!
If you are a visitor from outside Canada, you may be eligible for tax rebates.
You can claim a refund of 7% federal GST (Goods and Services Tax) on your purchases. The total amount has to be a minimum of $200 and each separate receipt is at least $50 in goods before tax. The goods have to be taken out of Canada within 60 days of purchase. Forms must be submitted within one year of the day the goods were exported.
GST charged on hotel and motel accommodation is also eligible for refund, provided that the stay in each hotel or motel does not exceed one month.
Excluded items are consumable goods, transportation, automotive fuels, services, rentals, campsites, cruise ship cabins and train berths.
In Ontario you also maybe eligable for the 8% PST Each retail receipt must be at least CAN$625 (before taxes). PST is not eligible for a tax refund on accommodation.
Rebate forms are available at the airport. For more info, call (613) 991-3346 (for GST); or (800) 668-5810 (for PST).
You can also download the online application form :
It's important to validate your Original receipts! If you also have a claim for good your original receipts for good must be validated by the Canadian Customs before departure. Goods must be available for inspection.It only takes a minute to do so. When you leave from Toronto Airport, you ca find the Canadian Customs in the far corner of the departure hall.
You can read much more about the tax refunds on this website :