Sales to Foreign Representatives or Officers

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You must collect the GST and QST on taxable sales (excluding zero-rated sales) you make to diplomatic missions, consular posts, offices of political divisions of foreign states, international organizations and visiting forces units present in Canada. The same rule applies to foreign representatives or officers of one of those entities, whether they make purchases on their own behalf or on behalf of their organizations.

Foreign representatives or officers and their dependants therefore cannot avoid paying GST and QST by showing the vendor diplomatic identification cards issued by the federal or Québec government. Foreign representatives or officers (and, in certain cases, the members of their family or only their spouse) can, however, claim a rebate of the taxes paid on most purchases if they meet certain conditions. To claim the rebate, they must complete and file form FP-2498-V, Application for a Rebate of Taxes and Duties for a Foreign Representative, Diplomatic Mission, Consular Post, Office of a Political Division of a Foreign State, International Organization or Visiting Forces Unit. They must submit supporting documents with the application and file the application within two years of the date of purchase.

Members of diplomatic missions, consular posts and offices of political divisions of foreign states can acquire tobacco products from selected suppliers without paying the tobacco tax, as can non-Canadian employees of certain international government organizations. At selected branches of the Société des alcools du Québec, those people can also purchase alcoholic beverages without paying the QST or the specific tax on alcoholic beverages.

For more information, refer to the document entitled Rebate of Taxes and Duties for Foreign Representatives, Diplomatic Missions, Consular Posts, Offices of a Political Division of a Foreign State and International Organizations (IN-249-V).

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