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Non-residents are required to register for Canada’s federal sales tax (the Goods and Services Tax (GST)) and to collect GST on its taxable supplies made in Canada if it carries on business in Canada or is a GST registrant at the time the supply is made. The factors that will be considered to determine whether a non-resident carries on business in Canada for GST purposes include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • the place where agents or employees of the non-resident are located;
  • the place of delivery;
  • the place where purchases are made or assets are acquired;
  • the place from which transactions are solicited;
  • the location of assets or an inventory of goods;
  • the place where the business contracts are made;
  • the location of a bank account;
  • the place where the non-resident’s name and business are listed in a directory;
  • the location of a branch or office;
  • the place where the service is performed; and
  • the place of manufacture or production.

In addition to the foregoing considerations, special rules generally require non-residents to register for GST in the following circumstances:

  • a non-resident sells admissions to a place of amusement, seminar or other activity or event in Canada, including concerts and sporting events;
  • a non-resident sells books, newspapers or periodicals in Canada;
  • a non-resident organises a convention in Canada; or
  • a non-resident exhibitor at a convention in Canada brings into the country goods for sale to delegates.

There is no treaty relief in respect of sales tax.