What’s Taxable Under the HST and What’s Not?

Most items have no new tax

Most of the goods and services we buy every day have no new tax. That’s because there are many items on which we already paid the previous Ontario provincial sales tax (PST) and the federal goods and services tax (GST) before the new harmonized sales tax (HST) came into effect on July 1, 2010. For many things, such as cable and phone services, new cars and adult clothing, there hasn’t been a change. However, since July 1, 2010, instead of paying 13 per cent sales tax to two governments (eight per cent to Ontario and five per cent to the federal government), there is one sales tax – still 13 per cent – collected by the federal government.

HST will be extended to many purchases that were once exempt from PST or GST and as a result we will see a tax increase on these goods and services.

No PST before July 1, 2010, no HST now
There are some other items that have never been subject to sales tax, such as basic groceries, municipal transit and prescription drugs. No HST is charged on these items.

Point-of-sale rebate
Other products are eligible for a point-of-sale rebate for the Ontario part (eight per cent) of the HST. This means you will only pay the five per cent federal portion of the HST. These include print newspapers, books (including audio books), diapers, children’s clothing and footwear, children’s car seats and booster seats, feminine hygiene products, and qualifying prepared food and beverages sold for $4.00 or less.
No new tax for 83 per cent of products and services
In total, about 83 per cent of products and services purchased by consumers have no new tax. Only 17 per cent are new to the HST – items such as personal and professional services (e.g., hairstyling and legal fees) as well as energy costs including home heating fuel and electricity.

Clothing and Footwear

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Adult Clothing 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Children’s Clothing 5% No PST No (remains 5%)
Shoe Repair Service 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Children’s Footwear 5% No PST if $30 or less No for footwear up to size 6 (remains 5%)
Tailoring Services 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Dry Cleaning Service 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Basic Groceries (e.g., Dairy, Meat, Vegetables, Canned Goods) No GST No PST No HST
Snack Foods (e.g., Chips, Pop) 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Qualifying Prepared Food and Beverages Sold for $4.00 or Less 5% No PST No (remains 5%)
Restaurant Meals for More than $4.00 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Alcoholic Beverages 5% 10-12% HST 13%[1]

Home Services

Did You Know?
93 per cent of all homes sold in Ontario, on average, are not be subject to an additional tax amount under HST.

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Cable Television Services 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Cell Phone Services 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Municipal Water No GST No PST No HST
Home Maintenance Equipment 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Home Phone Services 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Home Service Calls to Repair Free-Standing Appliances such as Stoves, Refrigerators, Washers, Dryers, and Televisions 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Home Insurance No GST 8% No (remains 8%)
Cleaning Services 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Electricity and Heating (e.g., Natural Gas/Oil for Home) 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Internet Access Services 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Home Service Calls by Electrician/Plumber/Carpenter to Maintain or Repair Furnace, Leaky Faucets, Bathtub, Toilet, Electrical Wiring, etc. 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Landscaping, Lawn-Care and Private Snow Removal 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)

Accommodation, Travel and Passenger Transportation Services

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Luggage, Briefcases, Bags, etc. 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Commercial Parking 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Municipal Public Transit No GST No PST No HST
GO Transit No GST No PST No HST
Air travel originating in Ontario and terminating in the U.S.[2] 5% No PST No (remains 5%)
Air travel originating in Ontario and terminating outside of Canada and the U.S.[3] No GST No PST No HST
Rail, boat and bus travel originating in Ontario and terminating outside of Canada No GST No RST No HST
Hotel Rooms 5% 5% Yes (changes to 13%)
Taxis 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Campsites 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Domestic Air, Rail and Bus Travel originating in Ontario 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)

Around the House

Did You Know?
The comprehensive tax package provides Ontarians with $11.8 billion in tax relief over three years.

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Cleaning Products 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Laundry Detergent, Fabric Softeners 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Household Furniture 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Refrigerators and Freezers 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Pre-Packaged Computer Software 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Books 5% No PST No (remains 5%)
Audio Books 5% 8%[4] Yes (changes to 5%)
Newspapers 5% No PST No (remains 5%)
Office Supplies, Stationery 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Landscaping Materials
including Sod, Seeds, Plants
5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Linens (e.g., Blankets, Towels, Sheets) 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Tents, Sleeping Bags, Camping Supplies 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Tools 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Patio Furniture 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Pet Food 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Barbeques, Lawnmowers, Snowblowers, Sprinklers 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Toys (e.g., Puzzles, Games, Action Figures, Dolls, Playsets) 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Outdoor Play Equipment
(e.g., Swing Sets, Sandboxes, Slides)
5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Craft Supplies 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Building Materials (e.g., Lumber, Concrete Mix) 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Magazines Purchased at Retail 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Magazines Purchased by Subscription 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Home Renovations 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)

Motorized Vehicles

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Vehicle Parts 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Short-Term Auto Rentals 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Lease of a Vehicle 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Child Car Seats and Booster Seats 5% No PST No (remains 5%)
Auto Insurance No GST No PST No HST
Labour Charges to Repair Vehicle 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Oil Change 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Tires 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Window Repair 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Purchase of Vehicle from Dealer 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Boats 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Snowmobiles 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Recreational Vehicles 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Private Resale of Car (including Registration) No GST 8% Yes[5] (changes to 13%)
Gasoline/Diesel 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)

Home Purchases

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
New Homes up to $400,000 5% No PST No change[6]
New Homes over $400,000 5% No PST Yes[6A]
Resale Homes No GST No PST No HST
Real Estate Commissions 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)

Health Products and Services

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Audiologist Services No GST No PST No HST if offered by a practitioner of the service.
Chiropractor Services No GST No PST No HST if offered by a practitioner of the service.
Physiotherapist Services No GST No PST No HST if offered by a practitioner of the service.
Pharmacist Dispensing Fees No GST No PST No HST
Over-the-Counter Medications 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Prescription Drugs No GST No PST No HST
Some Medical Devices (includes Walkers, Hearing Aids) No GST No PST No HST
Prescription Glasses/Contact Lenses No GST No PST No HST
Dental Services No GST No PST No HST
Dental Hygiene Products (e.g., Toothpaste, Toothbrushes) 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Feminine Hygiene Products 5% No PST No (remains 5%)
Adult Incontinence Products No GST No PST No HST
Diapers 5% No PST No (remains 5%)
Cosmetics 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Hair Care Products (e.g., Shampoo, Conditioner, Styling Products) 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Massage Therapy Services 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Vitamins 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)

Memberships, Entertainment and Sports Equipment

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Admissions to Professional Sporting Events 5% 10% Combined rate going down to 13% from current 15%
Movie Tickets 5% 10% Combined rate going down to 13% from current 15%
Music Lessons No GST No PST No HST
Skis and Snowboards 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Hockey Equipment 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Golf Clubs 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Green Fees for Golf 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Gym and Athletic Membership Fees 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Ballet, Karate, Trampoline, Hockey, Soccer Lessons, etc. 5% No PST Yes[7] (changes to 13%)
Tickets for Live Theatre with Less Than 3,200 Seats 5% No PST Yes[8] (changes to 13%)

Leases and Rentals

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Condo Fees No GST[9] No PST[9] No HST[9]
Residential Rents No GST No PST No HST
Hockey Rink and Hall Rental Fees 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)

Electronics

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
TVs 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
DVD and Blu-ray Players and Accessories 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
MP3 Players 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Cell Phones, Smart Phones 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Cell Phone Service 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Radios and Stereos 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Computers and Printers 5% 8% No (remains 13%)

Professional and Personal Services

Did You Know?
Approximately 2.8 million families and individuals would benefit from the proposed Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, which would provide over $1.2 billion annually in energy and property tax relief.

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Child Care Services No GST No PST No HST
Legal Aid No GST No PST No HST
Coffins and Urns Purchased Separately from a Package of Funeral Services 5% 8% No (remains 13%)
Fitness Trainer 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Hair Stylist/Barber 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Esthetician Services (e.g. Manicures, Pedicures, Facials) 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Funeral Services 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Legal Fees 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)

Tobacco

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Purchases 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Nicotine Replacement Products 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)

Banking and Investments

Did You Know?
In Atlantic Canada, investment in machinery and equipment rose by more than 12 per cent following the move to a harmonized sales tax.

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Mortgage Interest Costs No GST No PST No HST
Most Financial Services No GST No PST No HST

Ontario Government Services

GST-taxable before July 1, 2010 PST-taxable before July 1,2010 Is there a change to the amount of tax payable under the HST?
Driver’s Licence Renewals and Vehicle Plate Renewals (other than Personalized Licence Plates) No GST No PST No HST
Hunting and Fishing Licences 5% No PST Yes (changes to 13%)
Vital Documents (e.g. Health Cards, Birth Certificates) No GST No PST No HST

Still Have Questions?

To learn more about the benefits of HST visit ontario.ca/taxchange. You can also call 1 800 337-7222 or 1 800 263-7776 for teletypewriter (TTY).

For more information, you can also contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Visit the CRA website atcra.gc.ca/harmonization or call 1 800 959-5525.