GST/HST information for governments and diplomats

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Does the GST/HST apply to the federal government?

In general, we consider the federal government to be a single entity that includes all its departments, branches, agencies and some corporations. Federal Crown corporations are separate legal entities and are registered separately for GST/HST purposes.

Supplies made to the federal government

You have to charge the GST/HST on the taxable supplies of property and services you make to the federal government. Special rules may apply to supplies of real property. For more information, see GST/HST Memoranda Series Chapter 19, Special Sectors: Real Property.

You may be eligible to claim ITCs for any GST/HST paid or payable on purchases you made to make taxable supplies of property and services.

Supplies made by the federal government

The federal government has to charge the GST/HST on its taxable supplies. However, a number of supplies provided by government entities are exempt.

Examples – Exempt supplies made by a government

Does the GST/HST apply to provincial and territorial governments?

Each provincial and territorial government (including all of its departments or ministries, and certain of its Crown corporations, boards, commissions, and agencies) is registered as one entity for the purpose of the GST/HST. Transactions between these bodies are not subject to the GST/HST. To find out which bodies are included with each provincial and territorial government, call 1-800-959-5525.

You charge the GST/HST to employees of a provincial or territorial government who make official business purchases in their own name.

Supplies made to a provincial government in the participating provinces or to the provincial government of British Columbia, Nunavut, or Quebec

You have to charge the GST/HST on taxable supplies of property and services you make to the following governments (including all of its departments or ministries, and certain of its Crown corporations, boards, commissions, and agencies):

  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia, Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • British Columbia
  • Nunavut
  • Québec

These government entities may be eligible to apply for a rebate to recover the GST/HST paid or payable on eligible purchases. The Form GST490, GST/HST Rebate Application for Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments can be filed using one of the following methods:

These government entities may also be eligible to apply for a rebate to recover the QST paid or payable on eligible purchases. For more information, see QST and GST/HST Rebates for Departments and Agencies of the Governments of Canada and Québec

Supplies made to a provincial government in a non-participating province or the territorial governments of the Northwest Territories or Yukon

If an authorized official provides evidence that the supplies are being purchased by a provincial or territorial department or entity, you do not charge the GST/HST on taxable supplies of property and services made to the following governments (including all their government departments or ministries, and some of their Crown corporations, boards, commissions, and agencies):

  • Alberta
  • Manitoba
  • Northwest Territories
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

We will accept a certification clause that an authorized official of a provincial or territorial government entity, in one of these provinces or territories, has signed as satisfactory evidence. This is a statement on provincial or territorial purchase documents that certifies that a provincial or territorial government is purchasing the property or services with Crown funds. As the vendor, keep the purchase documents with the certification clause in case we ask to see them.

Supplies made by a provincial or territorial government

Provincial and territorial governments have to charge the GST/HST on their taxable supplies of property and services. However, a number of supplies provided by government entities are exempt.

Examples – Exempt supplies made by a government

Does the GST/HST apply to diplomats and foreign representatives?

You have to charge GST/HST on taxable supplies of goods and services you make to:

  • diplomatic missions
  • consular posts
  • international organizations
  • diplomatic agents
  • consular officers
  • designated officials of international organizations

You have to charge GST/HST whether they make purchases for themselves or their organizations. Foreign representatives are not exempt from paying GST/HST. You must collect the GST/HST from them, even if they show you a diplomatic identification card.

However, they may be eligible to apply for a GST/HST rebate if you give them acceptable documentation for their purchases. For more information, see Form GST498, GST/HST Rebate Application for Foreign Representatives, Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts, International Organizations, or Visiting Forces Units.

Forms and publications

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