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Tax Refunds for Visitors to Canada
Visitors including regular tourists that shop in the central Canadian province of Ontario can apply for a refund on Ontario's Provincial Sales Tax (PST) currently set at 8%.
The Canadian government canceled its nationwide Visitor Rebate Program for individual consumers effective April 1, 2007. Before then, visitors to Canada from another country were eligible to apply for General Sales Tax (GST) rebates after buying goods or paying for short-term accommodation during a visit to Canada.

Provided they meet Government of Canada guidelines, non-resident convention or trade show exhibitors as well as foreign companies that organize a Canadian convention can still qualify for GST reimbursement.

But there is even more good news.

Visitors including regular tourists that shop in the central Canadian province of Ontario can apply for a refund on Ontario's Provincial Sales Tax (PST) currently set at 8%.

Residency Requirements for Ontario Tax Rebate

A resident from a country other than Canada who purchases goods for permanent use outside Canada is eligible to apply for Ontario’s 8% PST rebate.

In addition, a visitor from the Canadian western province of Alberta who completes a special visitor’s declaration and power of attorney form can also apply for the tax refund.

Visitors must have photo identification that documents residence outside Ontario. Consumers must also provide proof satisfactory to Ontario’s Ministry of Finance that goods will be exported from Ontario within 30 days of purchase date.

Goods Qualifying for a Tax Refund

Goods must be tangible commodities bought for personal use. The visitor must have spent at least Cdn$625 per receipt on such goods with at least Cdn$50 in PST also shown.

Excluded are any products consumed or used in Canada such as:
·Alcoholic beverages
·Tobacco products

Transportation charges are ineligible. This means that car rentals, domestic travel expenses as well as bus and train tickets do not count towards the tax rebate.

Similarly, tax refunds will not be available for any services that visitors pay for while in Ontario. Examples of these excluded services range from cell phone bills, dry cleaning, entertainment and valet service charges.

Applying for an Immediate Ontario Visitor Tax Refund

Consumers can apply for their instant tax rebates of $50 or more before they leave Ontario. A service provider like Premier Taxfree Worldwide Tax Free Services has 7 instant tax refund offices at major retail stores in Toronto, 2 in Ottawa plus another at a shopping center in Vaughan Mills.

Tax refunds may be in cash or via a credit card adjustment in some locations. For credit card changes, visitors must have an international credit card with an expiry date good until at least 60 days after departure from Canada.

In either case, visitors must have satisfactory proof that they will leave Canada with their acquired goods within 30 days from the purchase date in Ontario.

Mailing in the Ontario Visitor Tax Refund Application

Often consumers obtain proof that goods were removed within 30 days of purchase date only after they return home. Examples are copies of boarding passes or tickets when visitors leave via public transportation.

In those cases, applicants:
·Complete a visitor Tax Refund Application like the ones available on Premier Taxfree's website
·Copy shopping receipts plus the documentation that proves goods were removed from Ontario
·Mail the filled-out application and copies of the receipts and proof of removal to the service provider

If Canadian dollar weakens, Ontario will be an even more attractive place for non-residents to shop given the province's visitor tax rebates already in place.

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