GST/HST and QST rebate for non-resident exhibitors

How to apply for the GST/HST and Quebec Sales Tax (QST) rebate for non-resident exhibitors:

Am I eligible for the rebate?

A rebate of the GST/HST and the QST paid on convention facilities and related convention supplies may be available to you if you are a non-resident exhibitor of foreign or domestic conventions who is not registered for the GST/HST.

You can claim a rebate for the GST/HST and/or 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.

You can also claim a rebate for the GST/HST and/or the QST paid on related convention supplies 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.

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

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 get a refund or credit from the sponsor, use Form GST189, General Application for Rebate of GST/HST, using Reason code 1c. For more information, see Guide RC4033, General Application for GST/HST Rebates.


If you are a non-registered, non-resident exhibitor who is in Canada only to promote your products or services at a foreign convention, you do not have to register for and charge the GST/HST on any orders taken from attendees during the convention. However, if you bring products to the convention to sell to attendees, you may be considered to be carrying on business in Canada and you may have to register.

For more information, see GST/HST registration for non-resident businesses.

How do I calculate my rebate ?

You can claim a rebate of:

  • 100% of the GST/HST and/or the QST paid on the convention facility and other related convention supplies; and
  • 50% of the GST/HST and/or the 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.

What expenses are eligible?

You 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.

For a list of property and services that are eligible for the rebate, see Related convention supplies.

What expenses are not eligible?

The following property and services are not eligible for the 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 frrom the admission fee, such as souvenirs, books, and videos sold during the convention.

How do I claim my rebate?

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

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

When do I file my rebate application?

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

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.

The following supporting documents are required:

  • 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).

If you enter into an agreement with someone else to complete and file your rebate application for you, see Is someone else completing and filing your rebate application for you?

Forms and publications

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