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GST/HST Place of Supply - Services

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Sales Taxes  ->  GST/HST  ->  Place of Supply Rules -> Services

Place of Supply Rules for Services

The place of supply rules for services, shown below, apply to services performed for clients in Canada.  If you provide services for non-residents of Canada, these services may be zero-rated.  See the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) information on Exported Services.

A participating province is a province which charges HST, which includes a federal component (5%) and a provincial component.  A non-participating province charges 5% GST only, and no provincial component.  For rates by province/territory, see Sales Tax Rates in Canadian Provinces and Territories.

General Rules

Four general place of supply rules apply to all supplies of services except those which are covered by other specific rules.

Rule 1

Where the supplier obtains the address of the recipient of the service, and that address is in Canada, GST or HST will be charged based on the province of that address being the place of supply.

Where the supplier obtains more than one address in Canada of the recipient, the address that is most closely connected with the supply will be used as the place of supply.

Where the supplier does not obtain an address in Canada of the recipient, another Canadian address of the recipient that is most closely connected with the supply will be used as the place of supply.

Example:  A supplier in Quebec designs a web site for a company with an Ontario business address.  Although the services are entirely performed in Quebec, the supply of the service is deemed to be made in Ontario, and HST would apply at a rate of 13%.

This rule does not require a supplier to obtain an address of the recipient, if the supplier does not already obtain the address in the normal course of business.

See Canada Revenue Agency document B-103 HST - Place of supply rules for determining whether a supply is made in a province (see link at bottom), regarding situations where the supplier has both a home address and business address for the recipient, or the recipient has multiple addresses.

Rule 2

 If the address of the recipient of the service is not obtained, and the Canadian element of the service is performed primarily (more than 50%) in the participating provinces (provinces charging HST), the supply is considered to be made in the participating province in which the greatest proportion of the Canadian element of the service is performed.

Example:  A supplier in Ontario provides document editing and translation services to clients electronically over the internet, with documents e-mailed to the supplier, edited, and e-mailed back to the client.  No addresses are obtained.  The services are performed in Ontario, therefore HST would apply at a rate of 13%.

Rule 3

Where Rule 2 would apply, but the service is performed equally in two or more participating provinces, the place of supply is considered to be the province with the highest HST rate.  If two or more of the participating provinces in this case have the same HST rate, that rate will be used.

Rule 4

Where Rule 2 would apply, but the service is performed other than primarily (50% or less) in participating provinces, i.e., it is performed 50% or more in non-participating provinces, then the supply is considered to be made in a non-participating province, and GST would apply, not HST.

Supplies of Services Not Covered by General Rules

There are specific place of supply rules for the following types of services:

bullet services re real property
bullet services re a location-specific event
bullet customs brokerage services
bullet telecommunication services
bullet passenger transportation services
bullet premium rate telephone services
bullet repairs, maintenance, and photographic-related goods
bullet personal services (does not include supplies of an advisory, consulting or professional service, which will generally be subject to the general place of supply rules for services)
bullet services re tangible personal property (goods)
bullet services re litigation
bullet air navigation services
bullet freight transportation services
bullet postage and mail delivery services
bullet computer-related services and internet access
bullet services of a trustee for a trust governed by an RRSP, RRIF, RESP, TFSA or RDSP

Other Resources

Canada Revenue Agency

GST and place of supply rules - For specific place of supply rules for the above types of services, as well as more information on the general place of supply rules.

B-103 Place of supply rules for determining whether a supply is made in a province

Department of Finance

News Release 2010-014 Place of Supply - Supplies of Services

Revised: October 16, 2017

 

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