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On July 1st 2010, the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) came into effect in the Province of Ontario. It is a 13% value-added tax charged on most goods and services sold in the province. (If you hear mention of the "GST" or "PST", those are the taxes that were charged before the HST came into effect.)
In most cases, the HST is added to the price tag or advertised price of the item, so if you grab $100 worth of merchandise at a store the total bill will come to $113. However, a few purchases are tax-exempt (such as prepared food and beverages under $4.00 are exempt from the PST) or already have the taxes built into the price.
How sales taxes apply to common tourist purchases:
|Tax rate||Taxes are not included in listed price, unless noted|
|Accommodations, travel and passenger transportation|
Municipal public transit
(TTC, OC Transpo, etc.)
|Taxis||13%||Included in fare shown on meter|
|Air travel||13% HST plus additional taxes and fees||Many additional taxes/fees may only be shown late in the booking process|
|Rail, boat, and bus travel within Ontario||13%|
|Rail, boat, and bus travel to locations outside of Ontario||Zero||
|Gasoline (petrol)||13% HST plus additional fuel taxes||All taxes are included in posted rate|
|Food and Beverages|
|Restaurant meals||13%||Normally not included in menu price|
|Alcoholic beverages at restaurant||13%||Normally not included in menu price|
|Alcohol products bought at the LCBO / Beer Store||13%||Included in price|
|Sports and Entertainment|
|Admission to pro sporting events||13%|
|Golf (green fees)||13%|
|Tickets for live theatre||13%|
|Services and Tobacco purchases|
|Hair stylist / barber||13%||May or may not be included in listed price|
|Esthetician / spa services||13%|
|Cigarettes & tobacco items||
13% HST plus
|HST is not included in listed price; tobacco tax is built into price|