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The Charter of the French language and its regulations govern the consultation of English-language content.

Penalties, Fines and Other Sanctions in the Restaurant Sector

If you are subject to mandatory billing measures in the restaurant sector, you have obligations to meet.

If you do not meet them, you are liable to penalties, fines and other types of sanctions. The sanctions depend on whether you use a sales recording module (SRM) or a certified sales recording system (SRS) designed to communicate with the WEB-SMB.

If you use an SRM

Operators of restaurant establishments (such as a restaurant or a business offering catering services) must comply with the mandatory billing tax measures in the restaurant sector and apply the related rules in each of their restaurant establishments, regardless of whether they are registered for the QST. If they do not, they are liable to penalties and fines. 

Giving customers a bill

If you are subject to the mandatory billing measures, you must:

  • make sure that the required information is shown on bills;
  • always give customers a bill; and
  • keep a paper or electronic copy of all bills for six years after the current year.

The sanctions for non-compliance are:

  • a $100 penalty;
  • a $300 to $5,000 fine;
  • a $1,000 to $10,000 fine (for a second offence within five years);
  • a $5,000 to $50,000 fine (for subsequent offences within five years).

You are also required to keep all supporting documents for adjusted or cancelled transactions for six years after the current year.

If you use generic terms on your bills to describe the food or beverages sold or the property or services supplied, as applicable, you must keep a copy of all your menus and other similar documents.

Producing bills using a sales recording module

If you are registered for the QST and are subject to the mandatory billing measures, you must, in addition to complying with the above-mentioned obligations:

  • generate your bills using a sales recording module (SRM);
  • use your SRM as soon as it is activated;
  • promptly enter the the customer's payment method in a sales recording system (SRS) connected to an SRM so that it will be recorded in the SRM; and
  • leave the SRM security seal intact and notify us if it is damaged.

The sanctions for non-compliance are:

  • a $300 penalty;
  • a $2,000 to $100,000 fine, combined or not with a maximum of six months in prison;
  • a security for continuance of a registration certificate (under the Tax Administration Act);
  • suspension or revocation of a registration certificate (under the Tax Administration Act).

Furthermore, you must not print out a bill more than once. However, you may reprint a bill, for example, when the original bill cannot be given to the customer because it has been altered. The SRM must be used to reprint the bill. A reprinted bill must be given to the customer.

If you reproduce bills for internal management or administrative purposes, the reproduction must say "Copie du commerçant. Ne pas remettre au client" (Merchant's copy. Do not give to customer). Reproduced bills generated by an SRM do not have a footer and must not be given to customers.

The sanctions for non-compliance are:

  • a $200 penalty;
  • a $400 to $5,000 fine;
  • a $2,000 to $10,000 fine (for a second offence within five years);
  • a $5,000 to $25,000 fine (for subsequent offences within five years).

These sanctions also apply if you provide a bill that was not generated by an SRM.

Note
Note that you can use the “Autre” (other) payment method before receiving payment when a beverage is sold, without food, at a place covered by a liquor permit authorizing the sale of alcoholic beverages served, without food, for consumption on the premises.
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If, for any reason, you are unable to provide a customer with a bill produced using an SRM, contact us.

Physical integrity of the SRM

Once acquired, an SRM becomes your property. You must:

  • make sure that the SRM's security seal is always in place and that the device is not opened; and
  • have a new seal installed immediately, and at your own expense, if the old one is damaged and notify us by phone.

The sanctions for non-compliance are:

  • a $100 penalty;
  • a $300 to $5,000 fine;
  • a $1,000 to $10,000 fine (for a second offence within five years);
  • a $5,000 to $50,000 fine (for subsequent offences within five years).

Filing the Sommaire périodique des ventes

If you are required to produce bills using an SRM, then you are also required to file a Sommaire périodique des ventes (periodic sales summary) with us each month using the same SRM.

For each periodic sales summary you fail to file by the prescribed deadline, you will be liable to a penalty of $25 per day late up to a maximum of $2,500.

If you are unable to file your periodic sales summaries, contact us.

If you use a certified SRS designed to communicate with the WEB-SRM

If you operate one or more restaurant establishments, you must comply with the mandatory billing obligations in the restaurant sector and apply the related rules in each of your establishments, regardless of whether you are registered for the QST.

These obligations also apply to you if you are a person who ordinarily makes supplies of property or services in, at the entrance of or near a restaurant establishment where alcoholic beverages are provided under a bar permit, according to an agreement entered into with the operator of the establishment or a person related to the operator.

If you fail to meet your obligations, you are liable to penalties, fines and other types of sanctions.

Using required equipment

If you are an operator or a person subject to mandatory billing and you are a QST registrant, you must:

  • equip your restaurant establishment with a certified sales recording system (SRS) and keep it in good working order; or
  • have a certified SRS that allows you to meet your obligations.

The sanction for non-compliance is a $2,000 to $100,000 fine, combined or not with a maximum of six months in prison.

Sending prescribed information

If you are an operator or a person subject to mandatory billing and you are a QST registrant, you generally must send us the following information through your certified SRS:

  • all your transactions containing the prescribed information for the supply of a meal, property or service, within the prescribed time;
  • any revision, cancellation or correction of a transaction.

The sanctions for non-compliance are:

  • a $300 penalty;
  • a $2,000 to $100,000 fine, combined or not with a maximum of six months in prison;
  • a security for continuance of a registration certificate (Tax Administration Act); 
  • suspension or revocation of a registration certificate (Tax Administration Act). 
Note
If transaction data was not sent because of communication problems, you must ensure that the data is sent within 48 hours. Contact us if you cannot meet this deadline.
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Giving customers a bill or credit note

If you are not registered for the QST

If you are an operator or a person subject to mandatory billing and you are not a QST registrant, you must generally:

  • give every customer a bill or credit note within the prescribed time;
  • make sure the bill or credit note contains the prescribed information for taxable supplies of meals, property or services;
  • keep a copy of each bill or credit note.

The sanctions for non-compliance are:

  • a $100 penalty;
  • a $300 to $5,000 fine;
  • a $1,000 to $10,000 fine (for a second offence within five years);
  • a $5,000 to $50,000 fine (for subsequent offences within five years). 

You must also keep paper or electronic copies of all bills and credit notes, as well as supporting documents for your transactions, for six years after the last year they cover.

If you use generic terms on your bills or credit notes (such as “daily special No. 1” or “table d'hôte No. 2”) to describe the food or beverages sold or the property or services supplied, you must keep a copy of all your menus and other similar documents.

The sanctions for non-compliance are:

  • a $200 penalty;
  • a $400 to $5,000 fine;
  • a $2,000 to $10,000 fine (for a second offence within five years); 
  • a $5,000 to $25,000 fine (for subsequent offences within five years). 

If you are registered for the QST

If you are an operator or a person subject to mandatory billing and you are a QST registrant, you generally must:

  • give every customer, within the prescribed time, a bill or credit note produced using a certified SRS;
  • make sure the bill or credit note contains the prescribed information for taxable supplies of meals, property or services.

The sanctions for non-compliance are:

  • a $100 penalty;
  • a $300 to $5,000 fine;
  • a $1,000 to $10,000 fine (for a second offence within five years);
  • a $5,000 to $50,000 fine (for subsequent offences within five years);
  • a security for continuance of a registration certificate (Tax Administration Act); 
  • suspension or revocation of a registration certificate (Tax Administration Act).

You must also keep paper or electronic copies of all bills and credit notes, as well as supporting documents for your transactions, for six years after the last year they cover.

If you use generic terms on your bills or credit notes (such as “daily special No. 1” or “table d'hôte No. 2”) to describe the food or beverages sold or the property or services supplied, you must keep a copy of all your menus and other similar documents.

You cannot print or send the same bill or credit note more than once by any technological means, but you can print a copy for the customer. Reproduction of the bill or credit note can only be done using your certified SRS and the document must say “REPRODUCTION.”

If you want, you can print and keep an additional copy of the bill or credit note, to facilitate bookkeeping, for example. This copy is a “duplicate” and must never be given to the customer. It must say “***COPIE DU COMMERÇANT***” and “NE PAS REMETTRE AU CLIENT.” As with copies of bills and credit notes, duplicates must be printed using your certified SRS.

The sanctions for non-compliance are:

  • a $200 penalty;
  • a $400 to $5,000 fine;
  • a $2,000 to $10,000 fine (for a second offence within five years); 
  • a $5,000 to $25,000 fine (for subsequent offences within five years). 

Displaying or providing the user report and sending it to us

If you are an operator or a person subject to mandatory billing and you are a QST registrant, in addition to sending us the prescribed information for the user report, in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed time, you must:

  • display the report, containing the prescribed information, on your certified SRS for the person authorized by Revenu Québec; or
  • give the authorized person a print copy of the report or send them the report electronically (by email, for example).

The sanctions for non-compliance are:

  • a $300 penalty;
  • a $1,000 to $10,000 fine, if you refuse to display, provide or send a copy of the user report;
  • a $2,500 to $250,000 fine, if information in the report is inaccurate or incomplete.

Entering into and reporting information about an agreement

In addition to the above obligations, if you operate an establishment where alcoholic beverages are provided under a bar permit and you are a QST registrant, you must:

  • report information about the entering into, change or expiry of an agreement entered into with a person that ordinarily makes taxable supplies of admissions, property or services in, at the entrance of or near your establishment, using the prescribed form or a certified SRS (this same obligation applies to such agreements entered into with a person related to you);
  • enter into an agreement with any person that supplies property or services on an exceptional basis and send us the prescribed information about the agreement.

The sanctions for non-compliance are:

  • a $300 penalty;
  • a $300 to $5,000 fine;
  • a $1,000 to $10,000 fine (for a second offence within five years);
  • a $5,000 to $50,000 fine (for subsequent offences within five years);
  • a $2,000 to $100,000 fine, combined or not with a maximum of six months in prison;
  • a security for continuance of a registration certificate (Tax Administration Act);
  • suspension or revocation of a registration certificate (Tax Administration Act).
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