If you buy something in Quebec, expect it to be taxed twice - once for the Goods and Services tax (GST) of 7% and then the Provincial tax (PST) of 7.5%.
And for hotels, add a 3% lodging tax.
(As of July 1, 2006 the GST is dropping to 6%)
Example: here is a hotel bill I received:
Base price : 225.00
Lodging tax (3%) 6.75
But there is good news! If you are a non-resident, you can obtain a refund for the GST (not the PST, sorry). I have listed the website for more info.
Please note that something particularly annoying in Montreal are these 14-15% tax systematically added at any purchase of clothes or resto bills. It also happen that it is added on your drinks in pubs! Do not ask me why but in some pubs, the prices is shown net of tax and in others gross of tax...
We Europeans do not like that since all prices there in Canada are shown without tax, it is kind of appealing the client, then you get the nice surprise of the tax, plus the waiter or barman expecting a good 15% tip even though the basic price is already well within or above European prices....(good example is a pint of guinness for CAD 8.50...... not including tip. Irish Friends this would mean EURO 6.90 for a Guinness compared to EURO 4.50 in Dublin...)
Guys if you want to have real party and a good dinner, do not expect to survive with less than
CAD 200.00 per night and this is without exageration on the bottle of wine......
Lots of websites mentioned Montreal as the best North American city for partying, well, we found it nothing exciting at all and quite often boring with lots of party places empty.
If you really want good party you should rather save your $$$ and opt for a European city such as : London, Dublin, Copenhagen, Moscow, St-Petersburg, Barcelona or Madrid, there, you will have real fun and far more choices than in Montreal.
Sorry again, I don't have anything against the town or country which both are magnificent, have nice people, however, for party animals like us, it was very expensive and a bit boring experience.
Last point, nightlife only starts from Thursday night in Montreal. Other nights, do not expect any fun.....and even on Thursday night, nice places like Thursday's pub (very popular spot) gets empty by midnight even though closing at 3am....
For French speakers, do not expect that your French accent will help and that lovely Quebecquoises will come to you. This is a mythe.
I hope my experience will help others.
Tax. Federal tax on products and services (TPS) of 7% and provincial tax of Quebec (TVQ) of 7,5% are added to most goods and services. Non-residents can although ask for a TPS refund for taxes paid on most goods bought to be used outside of the country (www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca). Passengers leaving Montreal International Airport at Dorval must pay a improvement fee (FAA) of 10$. It would be increased to 15$ soon, and a 10$ fee will also be added at Mirabel airport.
In Canada, service is not automatically added to the cost of a meal. The usual tip is 15% (before taxes). Note that both federal and provincial taxes are added to the bill (TPS is a sales tax, not a tip).
Sales taxes and tax refunds...
A federal tax (GST/TPS) of 7% and a provincial tax (PST/TVQ) of 7.5% are applied to most goods and services in Québec. Non-residents can apply for a GST/TPS and PST/TVQ rebate on most goods purchased for use outside Canada as well as on hotel accommodations.