Rebate for Tour Packages, Foreign Conventions, and Non-Resident Exhibitor Purchases

RC4160(E) Rev. 14

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This guide uses plain language to explain the most common tax situations. It is provided for information only and does not replace the law.

La version française de cette publication est intitulée Remboursement pour les voyages organisés, les congrès étrangers et les achats des exposants non-résidents.

Note

If you are a non-resident visitor to Canada, you cannot claim a rebate of the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) that you paid for all purchases made in Canada. The visitor rebate program for GST/HST was replaced on April 1, 2007, with the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP). A non-resident visitor to Canada may be eligible to claim a GST/HST rebate on certain purchases related to conventions or for tour packages under the FCTIP.


Is this guide for you?

This guide gives information about the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP), which is a rebate program that is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. The FCTIP provides GST/HST relief to non-residents for short-term and/or camping accommodation in Canada that is included in an eligible tour package. The FCTIP also provides GST/HST relief to convention sponsors, organizers, and exhibitors for certain properties and/or services used in the course of conventions held in Canada.

This guide also explains the conditions for claiming the rebate and how to apply.

This guide is not for you if:

  • a Canadian supplier paid or credited you with the total rebate amount you are entitled to claim; or
  • you are a Canadian travel provider and you are paying or crediting a rebate amount for an eligible tour package, or for foreign conventions. For more information, see Guide RC4036, Information for the Travel and Convention Industry.

In Quebec, Revenu Québec generally administers the GST/HST. If the physical location of your business is in Quebec, you have to file your returns with Revenu Québec using its forms, unless you are a selected listed financial institution (SLFI). For more information, see the Revenu Québec publication IN-203-V, General Information Concerning the QST and the GST/HST, available at Revenu Québec website, or call 1-800-567-4692. If you are an SLFI and you have a permanent establishment in Quebec go to Financial institutions.

What's new?

What records to include with your rebate application

Do not send us original receipts. Send us copies of proof of purchases, receipts, or documents for purchases listed on your rebate claim. We will not return any receipts or supporting documentation submitted with your application.

What is the GST/HST?

The goods and services tax (GST) is a tax that applies to most supplies of goods and services made in Canada. The GST also applies to supplies of real property or intangible property such as admission to a show or a hockey game.

The participating provinces harmonized their provincial sales tax with the GST to implement the harmonized sales tax (HST) in those provinces. Generally, the HST applies to the same base of goods and services as the GST.

Participating province - means a province that has harmonized its provincial sales tax with the GST to implement the harmonized sales tax (HST). Participating provinces include New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island, but do not include the Nova Scotia offshore area or the Newfoundland offshore area except to the extent that offshore activities, as defined in subsection 123(1) of the Excise Tax Act, are carried on in that area.

GST/HST registrants who make taxable supplies (other than zero-rated supplies) in the participating provinces collect tax at the applicable HST rate. GST/HST registrants collect tax at the 5% GST rate on taxable supplies they make in the rest of Canada (other than zero-rated supplies).

The HST rate can vary from one participating province to another. For the chart on the applicable GST/HST rates, go to GST/HST rates.

Persons, including non-residents who come to Canada, usually pay either the GST or the HST, depending on where they make their purchase. Special rules apply for a tour package that takes place in one or more participating provinces and in non-participating provinces. For more information, see GST/HST Memorandum 27.1, Calculating GST/HST on Tour Packages.

Who is eligible for a rebate under the FCTIP?

Under the FCTIP we offer a rebate for the GST/HST paid on purchases of eligible tour packages by non-residents. Non-resident tour operators may also receive a rebate for the purchase of short-term and/or camping accommodation that is resold in an eligible tour package.

We also offer a rebate to sponsors and non-registered organizers of foreign conventions held in Canada for the GST/HST they pay on the convention facility and related convention supplies. In addition, non-resident non-registered exhibitors can receive a rebate for the GST/HST paid on exhibition space and related convention supplies rented or purchased from a registrant for any convention.

You may be eligible for a rebate under the FCTIP if you are:

  • a non-resident non-registered tour operator who purchased and resold an eligible tour package;
  • a non-resident non-registered tour operator who purchased short-term and/or camping accommodation and resold it as part of an eligible tour package;
  • a non-resident non-registered individual, organization, or businesses (other than tour operators) who purchased an eligible tour package;

    Note
    Short term and/or camping accommodation included in an eligible tour package must be made available to a non-resident individual.

  • a sponsor or a non-registered organizer of a foreign convention; or
  • a non-resident non-registered exhibitor at any convention.

Other conditions must also be met to claim a rebate under the FCTIP. These conditions are explained in this guide.

Various terms, such as foreign convention, tour packageand tour operator, have a very specific meaning for GST/HST purposes. You need to understand the meaning of these terms which are also explained in this guide to ensure that you are eligible to claim a rebate.

Quebec sales tax

In certain cases, a rebate may also be available for the Quebec sales tax (QST) paid on purchases for a foreign convention. QST is often referred to as TVQ on invoices in Quebec. For more information, see Rebate for sponsors and organizers of foreign conventions.

What is a tour package?

A tour package is a combination of two or more services or of property and services that are supplied together for an all-inclusive price. This can include:

  • transportation services;
  • accommodation;
  • a right to use a campground or trailer park; or
  • guide or interpreter services.

Generally, a tour package is what is produced when a tour operator combines various elements to create something new. However, not all combinations of two or more services or of property and services are tour packages. The nature and purpose of the package also has to be considered. For example, if the overall purpose of a package is to provide a specialized service, it is not considered to be a tour package for GST/HST purposes. Examples of such packages are wellness packages, educational and counselling packages, children's overnight camps, sports tournaments, and concert tours.

As well, an incentive trip that includes business meetings is not a tour package for GST/HST purposes.

What is an eligible tour package?

To be an eligible tour package for the FCTIP rebate, the tour package must be sold for an all-inclusive price, and it must include the following elements:

  • short-term and/or camping accommodation in Canada; and
  • at least one service.

The terms short-term accommodation, camping accommodation, service, and all-inclusive price are defined below.

Note

Packages that include a convention facility or related convention supplies are not tour packages for this rebate. However, you may qualify for a rebate if you are a sponsor or organizer of a foreign convention. For more information, see Rebate for sponsors and organizers of foreign conventions.

GST/HST Rulings Service - Eligibility of Tours

Under this GST/HST rulings service, tour operators may choose to request a ruling on whether a tour is an eligible tour package for purposes of the FCTIP. This rulings service gives tour operators certainty on whether they are supplying eligible tour packages. This will help tour operators or their non-resident customers to receive their GST/HST rebates under the FCTIP in a timely fashion. For more information, go to GST/HST rulings and interpretations, or see NOTICE273, GST/HST Rulings Service – Eligibility of Tours under the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program.

What is short-term accommodation?

For this rebate, short-term accommodation means the rental of an accommodation unit in Canada as a place of lodging for an individual who will occupy it continuously for a period of less than one month and that costs more than $20 per night. For example, overnight or weeklong accommodation in any of the following would usually be considered short-term accommodation:

  • hotels and motels;
  • resorts and lodges; and
  • bed-and-breakfast establishments.

Short-term accommodation includes any type of overnight shelter (such as a tent) that is part of a tour package that also includes food and the services of a guide.Short-term accommodation does not include:

  • shelter on a train, trailer, boat, or other structure that is, or could be, self-propelled (for example, cruise-ship cabins, train berths, houseboats, travel trailers, and all recreational vehicles); and
  • an accommodation unit supplied under a timeshare arrangement.

What is camping accommodation?

Camping accommodation means a campsite at a campground or recreational trailer park in Canada that is rented continuously as a place of lodging for periods of less than one month to the same individual. It includes water, electricity, and waste disposal services if they are provided with the campsite.

What is a service?

A service means anything other than property, money, and anything that is provided to an employer by an employee in the course of employment. Here are some examples of services that might be included in a tour package:

  • guide or interpreter services;
  • transportation services;
  • sightseeing excursions; and
  • ski lessons.

What is property?

Property means any type of property and includes goods, real property, and intangible property such as admission to a show or hockey game. Property does not include money.

The following items, usually included in a tour package are property, not services:

  • short-term accommodation;
  • meals;
  • a right to enter or attend an event, such as tickets to a show or a hockey game;
  • car rentals;
  • ski rentals;
  • ski lift tickets;
  • access to golf courses; and
  • park passes.

What is an all-inclusive price?

Generally, an all-inclusive price means a single price for all property and services sold together in a package. However, in the tourism industry, sometimes prices for certain property or services are only listed on an invoice for information purposes. We would accept that such packages are sold for an all-inclusive price.

Examples of eligible tour packages

Eligible tour packages for the FCTIP rebate must meet the following requirements:

  • have a short term and/or camping accommodation in Canada;
  • have at least one service; and
  • sold at an all-inclusive price.

The following are examples of packages that meet these requirements and are eligible for the FCTIP rebate.

Example 1

A package consists of round-trip air transportation, hotel accommodation in Canada, guided sightseeing tours, and meals sold for an all-inclusive price.

This package is an eligible tour package for this rebate because it includes both short-term accommodation in Canada and a service (both the air transportation and the sightseeing tours are services) sold for an all-inclusive price.

Example 2

A package consists of accommodation at a bed and breakfast in Canada, bus transportation to and from an outlet shopping centre in a neighbouring city, and attendance at a festival sold for an all-inclusive price.

This package is an eligible tour package for this rebate because it includes short-term accommodation in Canada and a service (intercity bus transportation) sold for an all-inclusive price.

Example 3

A purchaser asks that an advertised package be altered to add theatre tickets and a car rental. The advertised package consisted of hotel accommodation in Canada and round-trip air transportation. The altered package is sold for an all-inclusive price.

The altered package is an eligible tour package for this rebate, because it includes short-term accommodation in Canada and a service (air transportation), and it is sold for an all-inclusive price.

Example 4

A tour operator offers customized packages to purchasers. The tour operator offers short-term accommodation in Canada, meals, air transportation, and admission ticket options. Purchasers build their own package by choosing one of each option. The package is sold for an all-inclusive price.

This package is an eligible tour package for this rebate because it includes short-term accommodation in Canada and a service (air transportation) for an all-inclusive price.

Examples of non-eligible tour packages

The following are examples of packages that are not eligible for the FCTIP rebate.

Example 1

A package consists of camping accommodation in Canada, meals, and admission to a heritage site sold for an all-inclusive price.

This package is not an eligible tour package for this rebate. Although the package includes camping accommodation in Canada, it does not include a service (meals and admission are both property).

Example 2

A hotel in Canada provides short-term accommodation and a shuttle to and from a nearby casino. The shuttle is included in the room price.

This is not an eligible tour package for the rebate because the shuttle is part of the accommodation. Therefore, this is accommodation only, not a tour package.

Example 3

A stay at an “all-inclusive” resort in Canada is sold. Accommodation at the resort, meals at the resort, access to the resort swimming pool, access to the resort tennis court, and a spa service at the resort spa are part of the price.

This package is not an eligible tour package for this rebate because, in the case of an all-inclusive resort, items such as the meals, complimentary access to the resort swimming pool and tennis court, and a complimentary spa service at the resort spa are part of the accommodation. Therefore, this is a supply of accommodation only, not a tour package.

For more examples of eligible tour packages, see GST/HST Info Sheet GI-044, Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program – Tour Packages: What Is an Eligible Tour Package.

Rebate for non-resident tour operators

Who is a tour operator?

Generally, a tour operator is a person who, in the ordinary course of business, packages tours that are ultimately sold to, or are for the use of, either a group of travellers or an individual traveller. An outfitter or an owner of a lodge, hotel, or motel may be a tour operator if the person packages tours for sale in the ordinary course of a business.

Travel agencies, when they sell tour packages for a tour operator, are not tour operators for the FCTIP rebate. A person who sells packages that include a convention facility or related convention supplies is also not a tour operator for this rebate.

When is a rebate available?

If you are a non-resident tour operator and you are not registered for the GST/HST, you may be eligible for a rebate if:

  • you purchased an eligible tour package (see What is an eligible tour package?) and resold it; or
  • you purchased short-term and/or camping accommodation in Canada and resold it as part of an eligible tour package.

To qualify for the rebate, you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • You made the purchase in the ordinary course of your business of selling tour packages.
  • You sold the eligible tour package to another non-resident person.
  • The accommodation included in the eligible tour package was made available to a non-resident individual.
  • You received payment for the eligible tour package outside Canada at your place of business or the place of business of your agent. To determine if this condition is met, we consider where the payment is processed and deposited.
  • You are a non-resident of Canada at the time the rebate application is filed.
  • You paid at least $200 before taxes (this amount does not include property and services included in the tour package that are not subject to tax, such as overseas transportation services).
  • You send us your rebate application within one year after the last day any tax to which the rebate relates became payable. Generally, the day the tax became payable is the day you paid the amount due, or the date of the invoice, whichever comes first.
  • You provide the necessary documents to prove you are eligible for the rebate. For more information, see Required documents.

If you purchase an eligible tour package, you may be able to receive the rebate amount from your Canadian supplier. If the supplier pays or credits you with the rebate amount, you cannot apply to us for a rebate for that amount. If you purchase short-term and/or camping accommodation only, the supplier of the accommodation cannot pay or credit you for the tax you have to pay.

Calculating the rebate

Short-term or camping accommodation resold in a tour package

If you are eligible to claim a rebate for the tax paid on short-term and/or camping accommodation you purchased and resold in an eligible tour package, you can claim a rebate equal to 100% of the GST/HST paid on the accommodation. See What is short-term accommodation? and What is camping accommodation?

Tour package resold

If you are eligible to claim a rebate for the tax paid on an eligible tour package you purchased and resold, you can claim a rebate for part of the tax you paid on the tour package.

The rebate for an eligible tour package is generally equal to 50% of the GST/HST paid on the package. However, the rebate is reduced if any of the nights of accommodation provided in Canada as part of the tour package are ineligible accommodation. The reduced rebate amount is calculated as follows:

A ÷ B × 50% of the GST/HST paid

Where:

A is the number of nights of short-term and/or camping accommodation in Canada included in the tour package; and

B is the total number of nights in Canada included in the tour package, including ineligible accommodation such as overnight shelter on a boat, trailer, or a train.

Example

An eligible tour package includes five nights in Canada, with two nights of accommodation in a Canadian hotel and the rest on a train. The GST on the tour package was $45.

Only the two nights of accommodation at the hotel are eligible as the nights spent on the train do not qualify as short-term accommodation. With only two of five nights eligible as short-term accommodation, the 50% GST rebate is reduced as follows:

2 ÷ 5 × 50% × $45 = $9

The rebate amount is calculated as $9.

Claiming the rebate

To claim your rebate, use Form GST115, GST/HST Rebate Application for Tour Packages.

Required documents

If you do not provide all of the supporting documents with your rebate application, your rebate will be denied. Documents must be in either English or French, or you must provide a translation in English or French. Do not send us original receipts. Send us copies of proof of purchases, receipts, or documents for purchases listed on your rebate claim. We will not return any receipts or supporting documentation submitted with your application.

You have to send us copies of all of the following documents with your rebate claim:

  • invoices or receipts showing the GST/HST you paid; and
  • itineraries or detailed descriptions for the eligible tour packages (group and individual) including the number of nights of accommodation in Canada. You can provide the itineraries on paper or CD. Call one of the following numbers for other options:
    • from Canada and the United States, 1-800-959-5525;
    • from outside Canada and the United States, 613-940-8497. We accept collect calls by automated response. You may hear a beep and experience a normal connection delay.

You must also keep the following documents in your records and make them available if we ask to see them:

  • a list of names and addresses of the non-residents who purchased the tour packages;
  • a list of the names and addresses of the non-resident individuals who stayed in the accommodation;
  • the name(s) of the agent(s) through whom you sold the tour packages (if applicable); and
  • copies of the original invoices issued to your clients.

We may accept other types of documents if they allow us to confirm whether the eligibility requirements are met.

The information showing that the eligibility requirements have been met does not have to be on separate documents. All of the necessary information may be contained in only one or two documents. We will accept electronic documents if they can be printed.

You have to request permission to keep your records relating to your rebate claims outside Canada. For more information, see GST/HST Memorandum 15.1, General Requirements for Books and Records.

Rebate for non-resident individuals, organizations, or businesses (other than tour operators)

If you purchased an eligible tour package (see What is an eligible tour package?) and the supplier did not pay or credit you with the rebate amount, you may be able to claim the FCTIP rebate for up to 50% of the tax paid on the purchase of the eligible tour package.

If you are a non-resident tour operator, see Rebate for non-resident tour operators.

When is a rebate available?

You are eligible if you are:

  • a non-resident individual visiting Canada; or
  • a non-resident business or organization that is not registered for GST/HST and you purchase the eligible tour package for use by an employee or client (for example, if you are giving it to an employee as an incentive trip).

To qualify, you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • The short-term and/or camping accommodation included in the eligible tour package was made available to a non-resident individual. For more information, see What is short-term accommodation? and What is camping accommodation?
  • You did not purchase the eligible tour package to resell in the ordinary course of a business of selling tour packages.
  • You are a non-resident of Canada at the time the rebate application is filed.
  • You paid at least $200 before taxes (this amount does not include property and services included in the tour package that are not subject to tax, such as overseas transportation services).
  • You send us your rebate application within one year after the last day any tax to which the rebate relates became payable. Generally, the day the tax became payable is the day you paid the amount due or the date of the invoice, whichever comes first.
  • You provide the necessary documents to prove you are eligible for the rebate. For more information, see Required documents.

Calculating the rebate

You can choose one of the following methods to calculate your rebate claim:

  • general calculation method; or
  • quick calculation method.

Note

Depending on your situation, the result of one of these calculations may be higher than the other. You may want to do both calculations to find out what your rebate would be using each method. You can claim the higher amount. However, you must use the same calculation method for all eligible tour packages included in a single rebate claim.

General calculation method

Using this method, the rebate for an eligible tour package is generally equal to 50% of the tax paid on the package. However, the rebate is reduced if any of the nights of accommodation provided in Canada as part of the tour package are ineligible accommodation. The reduced rebate amount is calculated as follows:

A ÷ B × 50% of the GST/HST paid

Where:

A is the number of nights of short-term and/or camping accommodation in Canada included in the tour package; and

B is the total number of nights in Canada included in the tour package, including ineligible accommodation such as overnight shelter on a boat, trailer or a train.

Example

An eligible tour package includes five nights in Canada, with two nights of accommodation in a Canadian hotel and the rest on a train. The GST on the tour package was $45.

Only the two nights of accommodation in the hotel is eligible as short-term accommodation, the nights spent on the train do not qualify as short-term accommodation. With only two of five nights eligible as short term accommodation, the 50% GST rebate is reduced as follows:

2 ÷ 5 × 50% × $45 = $9

The rebate is calculated as $9.

Quick calculation method

For an eligible tour package that includes short-term accommodation, you can claim a flat rate of CAN$5 per night of short-term accommodation using the quick calculation method.

If the eligible tour package includes camping accommodation, you can claim a flat rate of CAN$1 per night of camping accommodation. However, campsites with food and guide services (for example, an outdoor adventure tour package), qualify as short-term accommodation and can claim a flat rate of CAN$5 per night.

Note

If you are an individual consumer (that is, you made the purchase for your own personal use and enjoyment or that of another individual) that purchased more than one eligible tour package from the same person and those eligible tour packages include short-term and/or camping accommodation in Canada on the same nights, you can only claim a rebate for one of those tour packages if you use the quick calculation method.

Maximum claim using the quick calculation method

For each rebate claim:

  • a non-resident individual can receive a maximum rebate of CAN$75 for all eligible tour packages; and
  • a non-resident business or organization can receive a maximum rebate of CAN$75 for each individual to whom the short-term and/or camping accommodation in all eligible tour packages was made available.

Required documents

If you do not provide all of the supporting documents with your rebate application, your rebate will be denied. Documents must be in either English or French, or you must provide a translation in English or French. Do not send us original receipts. Send us copies of proof of purchases, receipts, or documents for purchases listed on your rebate claim. We will not return any receipts or supporting documentation submitted with your application.

You have to send us copies of all of the following documents with your rebate claim:

  • copies of invoice(s) or receipt(s) showing the amount of the GST/HST you paid on the eligible tour package(s); and
  • the itinerary or detailed description for the eligible tour package(s) including the number of nights of accommodation in Canada.

Claiming the rebate

To claim your rebate, use Form GST115, GST/HST Rebate Application for Tour Packages.

Rebate for sponsors and organizers of foreign conventions

Sponsors and non-registered organizers of foreign conventions may be eligible to claim the FCTIP rebate for the GST/HST and the QST paid on convention facilities and related convention supplies.

The following are definitions of terms we use in this section.

Sponsor - of a convention is the person who convenes the convention and supplies admissions to it.

Organizer - of a convention is a person who acquires the convention facility or related convention supplies and organizes the event for the sponsor.

Note

A sponsor may be referred to as the host of the convention. A person that supports an event through sponsorship opportunities is not a sponsor for GST/HST purposes, but may be an exhibitor.

When a sponsor organizes its own convention or when the convention is organized by an in-house organizer, the sponsor is still a sponsor for GST/HST purposes and not an organizer. However, a professional organizer, when acting as an agent of a sponsor, is not an organizer for purposes of this GST/HST rebate.

Convention - means a formal meeting or assembly that is not open to the general public. However, a convention does not include a meeting or assembly mainly intended to:

  • provide any type of amusement, entertainment, or recreation;
  • conduct contests or games of chance; or
  • conduct business, unless it is in the course of a trade show that is not open to the general public.

Note

Although the definition of “convention” excludes an event or assembly where the principal purpose is to conduct business, an event may be a convention if the business meetings are held in the course of a trade show that is closed to the general public.

Foreign convention - is a convention held in Canada where:

  • at the time the sponsor of the convention determines the amount to be charged for the admissions, it is reasonably expected that at least 75% of the admissions will be provided to non-residents of Canada; and
  • the sponsor of the convention is an organization whose head office is situated outside Canada or, if the organization has no head office, the member or majority of members having management and control of the organization are non-resident.

To determine if your convention qualifies as a foreign convention, you have to determine the percentage of non-resident delegates you can reasonably expect to attend. You can use the percentage of non-resident delegates:

  • who attended previous conventions;
  • who are usually invited to attend the convention; or
  • who are listed as members of the organization.

You can also use any other reasonable method.

Note

If you determined that a convention is a foreign convention because non-resident delegates will likely make up at least 75% of the total of those attending, and you discover later that there were less than 75% non-resident delegates at the convention, the convention is still a foreign convention.

You have to keep documents to support how you determined the percentage of Canadian and non-resident delegates. You have to make this information available to us on request. Documents must be in either English or French, or you must provide a translation in English or French. You have to ask for permission to keep your records relating to your rebate claims outside Canada. For more information, see GST/HST Memorandum 15.1, General Requirements for Books and Records.

Convention facility - means any real property that is rented by the sponsor or organizer of a convention for use exclusively as the site for the convention.

Who can claim a rebate?

A rebate of the GST/HST and the QST may be available to:

  • sponsors of foreign conventions; and
  • organizers of foreign conventions who are not registered for the GST/HST.

What expenses are eligible for the rebate?

A non-resident sponsor and a non-registered organizer of a foreign convention may claim a rebate for the GST/HST and the QST paid for convention facilities and related convention supplies.

Related convention supplies are property and services purchased exclusively for consumption, use, or supply in connection with a convention. They do not include any property or services that are provided for a separate charge except if they are acquired exclusively to be consumed or used by an exhibitor in promoting its business, services, or property at the convention.

See Examples of related convention suppliesfor a list of examples.

Property and services not eligible for a rebate

The following property and services are not eligible for a rebate:

  • transportation services, other than chartered group transportation services used solely to transport convention attendees between any of the convention facilities, places of lodging, or transportation terminals;
  • entertainment such as theme nights or city tours; and
  • property or services provided to the delegates of the convention and charged separately from the admission fee, such as souvenirs, books, and videos sold during the convention.

Calculating the rebate

Sponsors and non-registered organizers of foreign conventions can claim a rebate of:

  • 100% of the GST/HST and/or QST paid on the convention facility and other related convention supplies; and
  • 50% of the GST/HST and/or QST paid on related convention supplies that are food, beverages, and items provided under a contract for catering.

Calculate your rebate for the GST/HST and for the QST separately.

Example

The following chart shows the rebate for the sponsor of a foreign convention held in Alberta. All taxable purchases were subject to the GST.

GST rebate for the sponsor based on different items
  Rebate for the sponsor of a foreign convention held in Alberta
  Item Charge GST Rebate
  Meals/catering $8,000 $400 $200
  Meeting rooms $2,000 $100 $100
  Convention materials $10,000 $500 $500
  Exhibit decorations $2,500 $125 $125
  Total $22,500 $1,125 $925

The sponsor can apply for a CAN$925 rebate of the GST.

Note

Only 50% of the tax paid for meals and catering is eligible for a rebate.

Required documents

If you do not provide the required supporting documents with the rebate application, your rebate will be denied. Documents must be in either English or French, or you must provide a translation in English or French. Do not send us original receipts. Send us copies of proof of purchases, receipts, or documents for purchases listed on your rebate claim. We will not return any receipts or supporting documentation submitted with your application.

We must receive your application no later than one year after the day the convention ends. Be sure to attach copies of the following supporting documents:

  • a convention agenda, itinerary, or event program;
  • copies of invoices or receipts showing the GST/HST/QST paid; and
  • complete hotel folios (that is, the entire hotel bill).

The documents must prove that you have paid the GST/HST and/or the QST on the supplies. An invoice that only indicates the tax payable (but not paid) is not sufficient.

Claiming the rebate

To claim your rebate, use Form GST386, Rebate Application for Conventions.

Under certain conditions, a Canadian supplier can pay or credit you with an amount equal to the rebate. If the supplier pays or credits you with a rebate amount, you cannot apply to us for a rebate of that amount, or any part of it. However, if the supplier pays or credits you with a rebate amount, and you have other supplies that qualify for a rebate and for which that you were not paid or credited, you can fill out and send us Form GST386 for these supplies.

Rebate for non-resident exhibitors

Non-resident exhibitors of foreign or domestic conventions may be eligible to claim the FCTIP rebate for the GST/HST and the QST paid on convention facilities and related convention supplies.

The following are definitions of terms we use in this section.

Domestic convention - is a convention that does not meet the definition of a foreign convention.

Exhibitor - means a person who rents exhibition space exclusively for use as a site for the promotion at a convention of the property or services provided by the exhibitor or its business.

Non-resident exhibitors who are not registered for GST/HST can claim the FCTIP rebate for the GST/HST and/or the QST paid on the rental of exhibition space at foreign and domestic conventions when rented from a GST/HST registrant that is not the sponsor of the convention.

Non-resident non-registered exhibitors can also claim a rebate for the GST/HST and/or QST paid on related convention supplies, other than food, beverages, or items purchased under a contract for catering, when rented or purchased from a GST/HST registrant that is not the sponsor. This does not include food, beverages, or items purchased under a contract for catering. See Examples of related convention supplies.

Non-resident non-registered exhibitors do not pay GST/HST on exhibition space rented from the sponsor of a convention (whether foreign or domestic), or on related convention supplies (other than food, beverages, or items purchased under a contract for catering) purchased from the sponsor.

Note

If you paid GST/HST in error on these items, you can ask the sponsor to refund or credit you the amount of the tax. If you cannot receive a refund or credit from the sponsor, use Form GST189, General Application for Rebate of GST/HST, using Code 1. For more information, see Guide RC4033, General Application for GST/HST Rebates.

To claim the rebate, complete Form GST386, Rebate Application for Conventions.

Required documents

If you do not provide the required supporting documents with the rebate application, your rebate will be denied. Documents must be in either English or French, or you must provide a translation in English or French. Do not send us original receipts. Send us copies of proof of purchases, receipts, or documents for purchases listed on your rebate claim. We will not return any receipts or supporting documentation submitted with your application.

We must receive your application no later than one year after the day the convention ends. Be sure to attach the following supporting documents:

  • a convention agenda, itinerary, or event program;
  • copies of invoices or receipts showing the GST/HST and/or QST paid;
  • a document showing the exhibition space was rented, even if there was no GST/HST payable; and
  • complete hotel folios (that is, the entire hotel bill).

Is someone else completing and filing your rebate application for you?

If you enter into an agreement with someone else to complete and file your rebate application for you, this is a separate and private arrangement between you and the other person. In this case, you have to pay the full amount of the GST/HST due to the supplier and wait to receive the FCTIP rebate from us.

Note

Depending on your agreement, the person that files the rebate application for you may give you an amount equal to the estimated amount of the rebate out of their own funds, so you do not have to wait for your rebate. This arrangement is not the same as a supplier paying or crediting you with the rebate amount. Sometimes they may charge you a fee for filing the application.

If you enter into an agreement for someone else to file your rebate application for you, all of the (required documents for tour operators, for non-resident individuals, organizations, or businesses (other than tour operators), for sponsors and organizers of foreign conventions, and non-resident exhibitors) have to be provided to validate the rebate claim. Proof that you have authorized the person to file the rebate application on your behalf, such as a power of attorney, must also be provided with the application.

We cannot accept and act on a power of attorney unless it contains all of the following:

  • a statement that the authorized person is not affiliated with the Government of Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency;
  • complete and upfront disclosure of any fees the authorized person charges you to complete and file the rebate application for you;
  • a statement that you authorize the other person to act on your behalf;
  • a statement that the power of attorney is for a rebate of the GST/HST and/or the QST under the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program;
  • your name, address, telephone number, email address (if applicable), and your signature; and
  • the name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address (if applicable) of the person you are authorizing.

Regardless of how you structure your business arrangement with the authorized person, we mail the cheque payable to you to the address on Form GST115 or Form GST386. The address could be your address outside Canada or the authorized person's address in Canada.

Examples of related convention supplies

Accommodation - hotel accommodation for use by the convention sponsor, organizer or exhibitor, or supplied to attendees as part of the admission

Audiovisual - audio, audiovisual, and video services, including equipment and labour associated with the technical services

Business equipment - computers, photocopiers, desks, and chairs

Convention materials - banners, flags, signs, papers, shields, floral arrangements, stand decorations, backdrops and other decorations, and office supplies

Convention show services - equipment, furnishings, and labour to install such items as carpeting, tables, chairs, exhibit booths, decorative plants, draping, banners, displays, and signs

Destination management services - local planning, management, and co-ordination services in organizing elements of the convention for the incoming organization

Food, beverages, and catering services (rebate limited to 50% of the GST/HST paid) - food, beverages, and catering services related to the convention, including any gratuities charged

Note

Food, beverages, and catering services, including any gratuities charged are not related convention supplies when supplied to exhibitors.

Memorabilia - lapel buttons, billfolds, key chains, pens, pencils, corsages, T-shirts, scarves, mugs, jewellery, badges, and similar promotional items

Moving and storages services - labour and equipment to deliver exhibit materials to the assigned space, including the storage of crates during the convention

On site services - personnel for on-site work such as the staffing of the registration desk, photographic services, and security services

Printed matter

  • identification badges;
  • information bulletins, on-site newsletters, booklets, programs, and memoranda relating to a convention or to products displayed at a convention

Professional services - customs brokerage, legal, accounting, and freight forwarders' services

Simultaneous interpretation equipment - simultaneous interpretation and audio-related equipment and labour

Speakers and educational seminars - facilitators and course materials

Telecommunications - telephone, fax, video, audio, or computer link-ups

Translators and interpreters - individuals who translate and interpret the languages being used

Transportation services - chartered group transportation services used solely to transport attendees of the convention between any of the convention facilities, places of lodging for the attendees, or the transportation terminals (for example, airport shuttle services)

Examples of property and services that are not considered related convention supplies

  • transportation services (other than the chartered transportation services described earlier);
  • entertainment such as city tours; and
  • goods, intangible property, or services provided to the attendees of the convention for a separate charge from the admission fee, such as souvenirs, books, and videos sold during the convention.

For more information

For more information on how the GST/HST applies to tourism, go to Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP), and select “How to Contact Us” to determine the tax services office you should contact.

For information about the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP) or the status of your refund, call:

  • Canada and the United States, 1-800-959-5525; or
  • from outside Canada and the United States, 613-940-8497. We accept collect calls by automated response. You may hear a beep and experience a normal connection delay.

You can also write to:

Summerside Tax Centre
Canada Revenue Agency
Summerside PE   C1N 6C6

CANADA

Internet

You can find GST/HST information at Goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST). For customs information, go to the Canada Border Services Agency website.

Forms and publications

To get our forms and publications, go to www.cra.gc.ca/forms or call one of the following numbers:

  • from Canada and the United States, 1-800-959-5525;
  • from outside Canada and the United States, 613-940-8497. We accept collect calls by automated response. You may hear a beep and experience a normal connection delay.

Your opinion counts

If you have comments or suggestions that could help us improve our publications, send them to:

Taxpayer Services Directorate
Canada Revenue Agency
395 Terminal Avenue
Ottawa ON   K1A 0L5
CANADA

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