Published | Category: GST and QST

Payment of the GST and QST by Métis, Inuit and Non-Status Indians

Under certain circumstances, Indians are exempt from paying consumption taxes under the GST and QST systems. However, Métis, Inuit, Non-Status Indians and Indians from the United States are not considered to be Indians for the purposes of this exemption. They must therefore pay GST and QST on taxable goods and services that they purchase (excluding zero-rated goods and services). 

Likewise, the exemption from paying consumption taxes that applies to Indian bands or band-empowered entities does not apply to entities that govern or represent Métis, Inuit or Non-Status Indians. 

The term "Indian" designates a person registered as such in accordance with the Indian Act. An Indian is not required to live in or maintain a dwelling on a reserve. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) can issue a Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS) card or a Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document (TCRD) to an Indian. No other identity or membership cards allow an Indian to obtain an exemption from paying consumption taxes.

For more information concerning SCIS, visit the INAC website. To know more about the TCRD, consult GST/HST Notice 264Sales Made to Indians and Documentary Evidence – Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document, published by the Canada Revenue Agency.  

The term "Indian band" designates a band council or a tribal council. The expression “band-empowered entity” designates a legal person, a commission, a council, an association, a society or any other organization that belongs to or is controlled by a band, a tribal council or a group of bands (except a tribal council). 

For more information, consult GST/HST Technical Information Bulletin B-039, GST/HST Administrative Policy – Application of the GST/HST to Indians

Note that vendors registered for the GST and QST that collect neither tax on supplies made to individuals who wrongly claim a tax exemption are still required to remit the GST and QST they should have collected.

The decision rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Daniels case states that Métis and Non-Status Indians are Indians for the purpose of federal Parliament's law making jurisdiction under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. However, the tax exemption provided for under section 87 of the Indian Act applies only to Indians, according to the definition of “Indian” in the Indian Act. The definition is not impacted by the decision in the Daniels case, and Revenu Québec agrees with the Canada Revenue Agency that the group of people entitled to the tax exemption remains unchanged. Therefore, Revenu Québec will continue to apply and administer the exemption provided for in the Indian Act in the same way it did before the decision was rendered in the Daniels case.

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