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-   -   Sales tax refund after exporting from Canada (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/trip-paperwork/sales-tax-refund-after-exporting-61549)

mark manley 27 Jan 2012 05:04

Sales tax refund after exporting from Canada
A question for those Canadian accountants or revenue department employees out there. I am planning to fly to Halifax to buy a bike, possibly a new Yamaha XT250 and use it for a six month tour of Canada and the US, after that I might ship it back to the UK and keep it. Can I claim a tax refund on any sales tax that has been paid on a new bike and if so how would I go about doing it? I would plan on using it in Canada for a couple of months after purchase before heading south, is there a time limit on any refund and would I have to surrender the registration in order to claim it?

MountainMan 27 Jan 2012 05:57

Used to be 60 days, but they may have cancelled the program, not sure with what it was replaced.

GST/HST refund for visitors

Tax Refund for Visitors To Canada

mark manley 28 Jan 2012 09:38

Thanks for that Mountainman, I have looked on the site for an e-mail address but cannot find one, does anybody have a general enquiry e-mail address for the Canadian revenue agency or do they only use phone and physical address?

MountainMan 29 Jan 2012 04:25

Not sure if there is an email contact address, calling by phone is pretty straightforward though. If you Skype them, it'll cost pennies and get to speak to a real person who may not have the right answer but at least will point you to the right department.

PanEuropean 4 Feb 2012 13:22


Be aware that there are normally two different taxes applied to vehicles sold in Canada: one is a federal government tax, called the GST (Goods and Services Tax), the other is a provincial government tax, generically referred to as PST (provincial sales tax).

My own guess, based on having lived in Canada most of my life, is that you will not be able to get a refund of either tax if you plate the vehicle in Canada after you buy it (the only exception being if you get a 10 day 'temporary vehicle permit' that is generally used only for driving/riding from the place of purchase to the border with the USA).

All of the various provinces (which administer the licence plate schemes) want to see proof of tax paid before they will give you a licence plate. The motor vehicle licence offices have a very keen interest in this subject because private sales of used vehicles between individuals also attracts tax. If you can't prove that you paid the tax at the time of purchase (i.e. present an official receipt from a motor vehicle retailer), then you will get assessed tax at the licence plate office before you can buy a plate. The tax assessment will be based either on the price you paid or on the fair market value of the vehicle/motorcycle, whichever of the two is higher.

Unlike Europe, we don't get very many people buying vehicles in Canada for export to anywhere except the USA. Hence, I don't think there are any programs existing to support operation of a vehicle on 'export' plates, as there are in Europe.

I could be wrong, and there might be some program I am unaware of, but I kind of doubt it.


Growler 12 Feb 2012 01:34

As of 2007 visitors are no longer able to get a refund for articles they take out of the country.

NOTICE221 - Questions and Answers on the Cancellation of the Visitor Rebate Program and the Implementation of the New Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program

Growler (Philip)

mark manley 12 Feb 2012 08:53

Thanks to everyone who took trouble to reply, I thought getting a refund was a long shot and as the advertised price for the bike I was interested in excluded many things including tax it has become too expensive, in the UK the advertised price is on the road.
So it is back to plan A and ship my own.

Squire 12 Feb 2012 21:03

Lower tax in Alberta
If you pursue the idea of purchasing a bike in Canada, I would say Alberta is your best shot since only the federal sales tax (GST) applies if things have not changed since the last time I checked. It means a difference of roughly 2000 CAD on the total for a GS1200 Adv for example compared to buying it let's say in Quebec or another high taxation province. But then again you will have to future out any limitations you may face regarding the need for having an address there and so forth. /C

Road Hog 13 Feb 2012 03:40

You might consider purchase in US then license here and ride up to Canada.

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