How to Get the Tax Back From Items Bought in Canada

When shopping in person in Canada, you will be charged sales tax. Depending on the province or territory where you shop, this tax will be called the goods & services tax (GST), provincial sales tax (PST) or the harmonized sales tax (HST). The amount varies from 5 to 15 percent of your purchase. The government of Canada no longer rebates the GST or HST to American consumers. If the items are shipped to the United States the taxes are not applied, and this is true whether the recipient is a person or a business. Under some circumstances, nonresident businesses (including sole proprietors) can apply for a rebate.

Step 1

Read through publication RC4033 to determine whether you are eligible for an HST or GST Rebate. Specifically, read the section "Are you eligible to file a general rebate application?" Generally speaking, if you exported goods for commercial purposes and paid HST or GST you are eligible for a refund. Also, if you sold goods that included installation and you paid the tax on the installation service, you are eligible for a rebate in some circumstances. A refund is also available if the goods or service you paid tax on are used to create works for art for export. Nonresidents (of Canada) who paid a nonrefundable deposit on a returnable container or who purchased a used returnable container for more than the deposit can apply for a refund.

Step 2

Read Canada Revenue Agency Bulletin B-089 if you are claiming a refund pertaining to returnable containers.

Step 3

Complete Form GST 189. For U.S. businesses, the Part B reason code will be code "4 - Commercial goods and artistic works exported by a non-resident."

Step 4

Enter in Part C, "Rebate claimed," the total amount of HST or GST you paid. In part F you enter the details for each supporting invoice.

Step 5

Return the completed form to:

Canada Revenue Agency Summerside Tax Centre 275 Pope Road Summerside PE C1N 6A2


Consult with your accountant before sending your form in a for a refund.

Things You'll Need

  • Canada Revenue Publication RC4033 - General Application for GST / HST Rebates

  • (instructions)

  • Canada Revenue Publication GST189 - General Application for Rebate of GST / HST

  • (form)

  • Canada Revenue Publication B-089 - Returnable Containers