HST cheques are for Ontario residents only? Thought it was Canada. I live in Quebec. So we don't receive a cheque? But will have to pay the HST on all items purchased?


Correct, the Ontario HST rebate is for Ontario residents only. The Ontario Sales Tax Transition Benefit (OSTTB) is related to the introduction of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario, and is a program introduced at the provincial level, although Canada Revenue Agency is assisting the province administer the program by determining who is eligible and by issuing the cheques/deposits.

Coincidentally, British Columbia is also introducing HST on the same date as Ontario – July 1st, 2010 – but B.C. didn't choose to offer a similar payoff to residents to make swallowing the new tax easier.

Quebec, on the other hand, doesn't call its sales tax a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) - instead, it continues to label the federal sales tax separately as the Goods & Service Tax (GST) and the provincial sales tax as Quebec Sales Tax (QST).

What is interesting about Quebec QST is that it applies on top of GST as well; i.e. tax on the tax. In terms of changes: Quebec will be raising its QST from 7.5% to 8.5% in 2011, and 9.5% in 2012 (source: Wikipedia - Sales taxes in Canada). But again, this is unrelated to the HST introduction in Ontario.

Finally – yes, if you were to purchase something in Ontario, e.g. online / mail order, before July 1, 2010 you would have only had to pay GST (not GST+PST), but after the HST is introduced you will pay the full HST which includes the provincial portion.

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