Grocery and Convenience Stores

Most of the items sold in grocery and convenience stores are zero-rated basic groceries (that is, they are taxed at 0%). However, certain items sold in these stores are taxable.

Click Taxable Groceries for details on how the the GST and the QST apply to basic groceries and other items.

Taxable foods and beverages

Examples of taxable foods and beverages are:

  • all dispensed beverages
  • beer, wine and alcoholic beverages
  • candies and other confections
  • carbonated beverages
  • carbonated mineral water
  • chewing gum
  • chocolate bars
  • foods heated for consumption (French fries, burritos, pizzas, chicken, etc.)
  • fruits, seeds, nuts and popcorn when they are coated or treated with candy, chocolate, honey, molasses, sugar, syrup or artificial sweeteners
  • granola bars
  • hot beverages (coffee, tea, etc.)
  • ice cream, ice milk, frozen yogurt, frozen juice bars
  • ice pops
  • popped corn products
  • potato chips, corn chips and similar products
  • salted seeds
  • single servings of all beverages other than plain milk and beverages prepared and prepackaged specially for consumption by babies
  • single servings of sweetened baked goods (for example, purchases of fewer than six doughnuts, muffins, slices of cake or pie, etc.)

Other taxable items

Examples of other taxable items are:

  • charcoal and barbecue products
  • deodorants and perfumes
  • first aid products
  • hair care products
  • household cleaning products (scouring pads, fabric softeners, etc.)
  • housewares and kitchenware
  • newspapers, magazines, greeting cards
  • non-prescription medications
  • paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, etc.)
  • personal hygiene products
  • pet food and pet products
  • plants and gardening supplies
  • school and stationery supplies
  • shaving products
  • skin care products
  • soaps and detergents
  • toys

Zero-rated basic groceries

Examples of zero-rated basic groceries are:

  • breads and cereals
  • dairy products (unflavoured milk, cheese, butter, cream, sour cream, yogurt)
  • eggs
  • fish
  • fruits
  • meat (beef, poultry, pork, lamb, prepared meats, sausages)
  • vegetables

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