Sales to First Nations
In most cases, you must collect GST and QST on sales made to First Nations members (Indians registered under the Indian Act), band councils, tribal councils and band-empowered entities, and on sales of goods and services made on a reserve to non-First Nations members.
However, you do not have to collect GST or QST in the following situations:
- Property is purchased by a First Nations member, a band council, a tribal council or a band-empowered entity that is not a legal person (in the case of a band-empowered entity that is a legal person, the property is intended for band management activities) on a reserve, or, where the property is delivered to a reserve by the vendor or the vendor's agent, off a reserve.
- Services are provided entirely on a reserve, to a First Nations member, in respect of property located on the reserve at that time.
- Services are provided entirely on a reserve to a First Nations member who is on the reserve at that time.
- Transportation services with on-reserve departure and arrival points are provided to a First Nations member.
- Services are performed in whole or in part off a reserve for a First Nations member and concern a right to an immovable situated on a reserve.
- Services are acquired on a reserve or off a reserve by a band council, tribal council or band-empowered entity for band management activities or for use with respect to real property situated on the reserve. Transportation services, short-term accommodation, and meals and entertainment are subject to GST and QST if acquired outside a reserve. However, a refund of the taxes may be claimed if the goods or services were acquired for band management activities or for use with respect to real property situated on the reserve.
The exemption from the taxes can only be granted if the proper documents are submitted to the vendor.
Some vendors whose place of business is not located on a reserve do business primarily with First Nations members, band councils, tribal councils or band-empowered entities. In some cases, these vendors are in a remote location and their regular trading zone includes a reserve which is not in the immediate vicinity. In such cases, the requirement for the vendor to deliver the property to the reserve may be difficult to meet, either because of prohibitive costs or lack of transportation services. If this is the case, vendors may, under certain conditions, make tax-exempt sales to First Nations members, band councils, tribal councils or band-empowered entities without delivering the property to the reserve. For more information, refer to GST/HST policy statement P-246, Remote stores and other off-reserve stores with significant sales to Indians, Indian bands and band-empowered entities, on the Government of Canada website.
You can claim input tax credits (ITCs) and input tax refunds (ITRs) for purchases you make in the course of your commercial activities in order to sell goods or services to First Nations members, band councils, tribal councils or band-empowered entities. This is the case even if you are not required to collect GST or QST on the sales. We suggest that you keep separate entries in your books for sales made to First Nations and sales on which you collected GST and QST.
For more information, see the following on the Government of Canada website:
- the Is your status card still valid page for information about the Certificate of Indian Status
- GST/HST Notice 264, Sales Made to Indians and Documentary Evidence – Temporary Confirmation of Registration Document, and GST/HST Info Sheet GI-127, Documentary Evidence when Making Tax-Relieved Sales to Indians and Indian Bands over the Telephone, Internet and Other Electronic Means, for information on the accepted forms of documentary evidence
- GST/HST technical information bulletin B-039, GST/HST Administrative Policy – Application of the GST/HST to Indians, for general information
- GST/HST policy statement P-230, Application of the Excise Tax Act to Leases, Licenses and Similar Arrangements of Tangible Personal Property by Indians, Indian Bands and Band Empowered Entities, for information on the supply of tangible personal property by way of lease