# Wednesday, December 13, 2006

GST Rebate Ending for Visitors to Canada

In September of 2006, the Government of Canada announced the elimination of the GST Visitor’s Rebate Program. Beginning April 1, 2007, all federal rebates under the Visitor’s Rebate Program will be eliminated. Rebates that will effectively end include those for visitors’ short-term accommodation, exported goods by non-resident consumers, and non-resident convention expenses.

The GST (Goods And Services Tax) rebate has been available for non-residents who purchase short-term accommodation and/or goods in Canada.  Under this rebate, visitors could claim a refund on goods they purchased in Canada, but took home with them for use primarily in their home country. It also included the GST paid on short-term accommodations, including hotels, hostels, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, and motels.

The rebate will still apply to those who have purchased eligible goods and/or services before April 1, 2007. The rebate will be honored for those who have a specific signed agreement for goods that will be shipped outside of Canada, but are not shipped until after the cut-off date. The agreement must be signed before the cut-off date, and follow the eligibility rules. If you purchase eligible goods before April 1, 2007, but do not leave Canada until afterwards, you will still receive the rebate.

Non-residents will still be eligible for the GST rebate when their accommodations begin before April 1, 2007 and continue afterwards for a period no longer than 30 days. In order to receive reimbursement, you must stay in the same facility for the duration of your trip. The rebate will also apply to those travelers who have already booked and purchased their accommodations before April 1, 2007, but whose actual trip does not begin until after this date. This will apply to all non-resident travelers whose accommodation in the same facility begins before April 1, 2009. These requirements also apply to travelers who have purchased prepaid tour packages.

Travelers who have eligible GST rebate claims will have one year to file their application. For those who have written agreements before the cut-off date, but whose trip occurs afterwards, special transition measures will be implemented regarding eligible filing dates. This will also apply to those whose trip begins before the cut-off date, but continues afterwards.

For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please visit the Canadian Revenue Agency.

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