Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program

Notice to reader

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.

The information on this page replaces the information in Guide RC4160, Rebate for Tour Packages, Foreign Conventions, and Non-Resident Exhibitor Purchases, which has been eliminated.

On this page

What is the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP)?

The FCTIP is a rebate program administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

In 2007, the FCTIP replaced the Visitor Rebate Program (VRP). For more information on the comparison between the two programs, see Program history - from VRP to FCTIP.

The FCTIP provides GST/HST rebates to:

  • Non-residents for the GST/HST paid on short-term and/or camping accommodation in Canada included in an eligible tour package
  • Convention sponsors, organizers, and exhibitors for the GST/HST paid on certain properties and/or services used in the course of conventions held in Canada

In certain cases, a rebate may also be available for the Quebec sales tax paid on purchases for a foreign convention.

Who is eligible for a rebate under the FCTIP?

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

  • a non-resident tour operator who is not registered for the GST/HST and you purchased and resold an eligible tour package if the short-term or camping accommodation in Canada included in the package was made available to a non-resident individual
  • a non-resident tour operator who is not registered for the GST/HST and you purchased short-term and/or camping accommodation and resold it as part of an eligible tour package if the short-term or camping accommodation in Canada included in the package was made available to a non-resident individual
  • a non-resident individual, organization, or business (other than a tour operator) who is not registered for the GST/HST and you purchased an eligible tour package if the short-term or camping accommodation in Canada included in the package was made available to a non-resident individual
  • a sponsor of a foreign convention
  • an organizer of a foreign convention and you are not registered for the GST/HST
  • a non-resident exhibitor at any convention and you are not registered for the GST/HST

What are the different GST/HST rebates available under the FCTIP?

Different rebates available
Situation Rebate eligibility

You:

  • are a non-resident tour operator who is not registered for GST/HST, and
  • paid the GST/HST on eligible tour packages

OR

  • are a non-resident individual, organization, or business (other than tour operator), and
  • paid the GST/HST on eligible tour packages

You may be eligible for a rebate under the FCTIP.

See, GST/HST rebate for tour packages

You:

  • are a sponsor of a foreign convention held in Canada, and
  • paid GST/HST on a convention facility and/or related convention supplies

OR

  • are an organizer of a foreign convention held in Canada who is not registered for the GST/HST, and
  • paid GST/HST on a convention facility and/or related convention supplies

OR

  • are a non-resident exhibitor of foreign or domestic conventions who is not registered for the GST/HST, and
  • paid GST/HST on exhibition space and related convention supplies

You may be eligible for a rebate under the FCTIP.

See, GST/HST and QST rebate for sponsors and organizers of foreign conventions

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

Agreement between you and a third party

You may enter into an agreement with someone else to complete and file your rebate application on your behalf. This is a completely separate, private arrangement between you and the other person. In this situation, you would still have to pay the full amount of the GST/HST that is due to the supplier and wait to get the FCTIP rebate from us.

Depending on your agreement, the person who files your rebate application 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 to be mailed to you from CRA. This arrangement is not the same as a supplier paying or crediting you with the rebate amount. They might also 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 claiming the rebate have to be provided with the application 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.

Information required on a power of attorney document

We will accept and act on a power of attorney only if it contains all of the following:

  • a statement that the authorized person is not affiliated with the Government of Canada or the CRA
  • complete and upfront disclosure of any fees the authorized person charges you to complete and file your 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 FCTIP
  • your name, address, telephone number, email address (if applicable), and signature
  • 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, GST/HST Rebate Application for Tour Packages, or Form GST386, Rebate Application for Conventions. The address could be your address outside Canada or the authorized person’s address in Canada.

How GST/HST is charged and accounted for when a GST/HST registrant acts on behalf of a recipient

As a GST/HST registrant, if you agree to act on behalf of a recipient (in other words, as an authorized person), you must still charge the full amount of the GST/HST payable and this amount must be accounted for on your GST/HST return. If you advance an amount equal to the estimated rebate amount from your own funds, this amount cannot be deducted when you complete your return.

Advancing funds to a consumer for the amount of the rebate is considered a private arrangement between you and the recipient and is not the same as paying or crediting the rebate amount to the recipient.

Whether or not there is a power of attorney in place, the invoice to the recipient must indicate the amount of the GST/HST payable.

Payment methods if a third party files your rebate application on your behalf

When you authorize another person (a third party) to act as your attorney to complete and file your rebate application, you and the third party must decide how the rebate amount will ultimately be paid to you. You and the third party may choose to use various private arrangements to pay your rebate to you such as the mail-in payment method or the instant payment method.

Mail-in payment

Mail-in payment

When using the mail-in payment method, the authorized person completes and files the rebate application with the CRA. They are also required to send the supporting documents and a signed power of attorney. Depending on the arrangement with you, the authorized person may charge a fee for its service. The CRA will then pay you the rebate.

Instant payment

Instant payment method

Generally, when using the instant payment method, the authorized person completes and files the rebate application with the CRA. They are also required to send the supporting documents and a signed power of attorney. This person advances an amount equal to the estimated GST/HST rebate to you from the person’s own funds. Depending on the arrangement with you, the authorized person may deduct a fee for its service. The CRA will pay the amount of the rebate to the authorized person.

 

Example

Example

A non-resident non-registered tour operator buys a block of rooms from a registrant hotel in Calgary, Alberta for $2,000 plus $100 GST. A power of attorney is signed between the hotel and the tour operator. This document provides that the hotel will advance from its own funds an amount equal to the estimated GST rebate and will file the rebate claim on the tour operator's behalf.

The hotel decides to show the advance on the invoice:

Calculations
Details Amounts
Price of the Hotel Rooms $2,000
5% GST payable ($2,000 x 5%) $100
Subtotal $2,100
Less: Advance of amount equal to estimated rebate ($100)
Net amount payable $2,000

The hotel completes Form GST115 and sends it to the CRA with the supporting documentation and the signed power of attorney.

In its GST/HST return, the hotel accounts for the full amount of GST payable, but does not deduct the advance paid as this is a private matter between the two parties.

Calculations
Details Amounts
Sales and other revenue (line 101) $2,000
GST/HST collected (line 103) $100
Adjustments (line 104) $0
Total GST/HST adjustments (line 105) $100
Input tax credits (line 106) $0
Adjustments (line 107) $0
Total ITCs / adjustments (line 108) $0
Net tax (line 109) $100

What happens if you choose to credit or pay the GST/HST rebate under the FCTIP to your clients?

If you are registered for the GST/HST, you can choose to credit or pay the rebate amount payable under the FCTIP if:

  • you supply eligible tour packages to:
    • non-resident tour operators
    • non-resident individuals, businesses, or organizations (other than a tour operator)
  • you are an organizer of a foreign convention and you supply convention facilities and/or related convention supplies to the sponsor of the convention
  • you are an operator of a convention facility who is not an organizer of the foreign convention and you supply convention facilities and related convention supplies to one of the following:
    • a sponsor of a foreign convention
    • an organizer of foreign convention that is not registered for the GST/HST
  • you are not an organizer of the foreign convention and you supply short-term accommodation or camping accommodation to one of the following:
    • a sponsor of a foreign convention
    • an organizer of a foreign convention that is not registered for the GST/HST

Canadian suppliers cannot pay or credit the GST/HST and/or the QST to non-resident exhibitors.

For more information, see GST/HST registrants that pay or credit the rebate under the FCTIP.

How to contact us

If you are a non-resident and would like more information on how the GST/HST applies to tourism, see Non-resident GST/HST Enquiries to determine the tax services office you should contact.

If you have questions about the FCTIP or you want to know the status of your refund, call:

  • 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 can also write to:
Summerside Tax Centre
Canada Revenue Agency
275 Pope Road
Summerside, PE C1N 6C6
CANADA

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